Tomorrow starts a crazy few days of wine tasting here in the Loire valley.
The first real chance to get a handle on the current vintage is at the annual trade tastings which happen at the end of January beginning of February each year.
Mathieu Vallée has 11 hectares in the Saumur region. 28 tiny parcels dotted around the Saumur Champigny villages keep him on his toes and it’s always difficult to pin him down for a tasting. He makes a small range of wines (3 reds and 2 whites) and we popped in to pick up some stock and catch up on his news.
Out and about in the vineyards yesterday we stopped for lunch in Fontevraud at Le Comptoir des Vins which is just opposite the entrance to the abbey. This little restaurant is partner to La Promenade in Bourgueil and works along the same lines: you choose a bottle of wine from the rack and a supplement of 8€ is added as a ‘corkage’ charge.
Wine tasting in the Loire is unique and tasting rooms range from very rustic to chic and modern.
I’m sure that most of you reading this are aware the 2102 vintage is being billed as a catastrophic one and will therefore be expecting to read of doom and gloom. Take heart, there are some great wines out there and while they may be in short supply as yields were seriously down, prices remain stable and growers optimistic for 2013.