Last week at Richmond and Teddington Wine Societies we took ourselves on a journey up the Loire Valley and back again. Loire wines tend to suffer from being from a region that everyone thinks they know well (think Sleeping Beauty chateaux), with some wine list regulars (think Muscadet, Sancerre and Anjou Rosé), but lacking a defining identity (think Burgundy or Bordeaux). This is a shame because the region offers a fabulous diversity of styles, albeit at rather high price points for the really good stuff. As we found out….
We kicked off the tastings with a Vouvray Brut. Made in the traditional method (ie like Champagne), but from Chenin Blanc grapes, we agreed that at £16/bottle this was a super alternative to a lower priced champagne.
The rooms divided over the Savennières, not an unusual outcome with this rich saline wine also made from Chenin, but from very distinct terroir. Even the lovers thought twice at the price of £35!
We then had four Sauvignon Blancs, from the Tourraine, Pouilly Fumé and Sancerre, all very high quality and drinking well – again a price point of £50 for the barrel aged Domaine Gitton was probably a step too far.
The evening concluded with two reds, both made from Cabernet Franc, which showed what some good warm weather can do in terms of ripeness of fruit and body.
Our quaffers were two Chenins (one actually priced under a tenner, the only one of the night), and a Gamay/Cabernet Franc blend from Tourraine (which was showing really well).
Next event at Richmond is the annual blind tasting, followed by Medal Winners at both Richmond and Teddington in September/October.
Wines are listed on the Wines we have tasted page.