More out of personal reasons rather than commercial reasons I have been tasting through a lot of Loire wines. Yesterday in Strasbourg there was the oppurtunity to taste a number of for me unknown producers.
A few things upfront. The prices, on seeing prices where Saumurs or Bourgueils or Anjous for under 10€, one has to dispel the idea that for these prices the wines cannot be good. Granted there are a lot of mediocre wines but with patience there are some real gems to be found.
What I found amusing was how producers would refer to Cabernet franc as „Cabernet“, and Cabernet Sauvignon was always referred to as the second grape „Sauvignon“.
Cabernet Franc and Barrique. For my taste they do not work well. The Cabernets from either large tonneauxs or cement had great vibrancy, barrique imo tends to mute this liveliness, the wines are perhaps more interesting for a wider public but their soul it seems is sacrificed.
We all agree how Burgundy profits from climate warming, I think the same could be said of the Reds from the Loire, 2015 is perhaps for my taste a bit overripe and I would lean towards 2014 or 2016. But 2018 from initial tastings, this is going to be a fantastic vintage.
Cabernet Franc and green paprika, perhaps my taste was not functioning properly but did not detect this in any of the reds.
From about 40 producers tasted, these stood out for me.
Domaine des Hauts Perrays
Struggled with the oxidative elements in their white wines. The reds in contrast were real eye openers
Anjou village 2016,
pomegranate red, lively red fruit counterbalanced with great acidity, not a wine for the long haul but great for now. 92 Ponits
Anjou Village Brissac 2015
A real stand out at a ridiculous pice 12€. Dark red, nose muted, aromas subdued, red fruit/cranberries and a hint of spice great structure. 94 Points
Domaine des Hautes Vignes
Prices quite unbelievable. The whites again good but nothing exceptional. Real stand out.
2010 Saumur rouge VV Complex nose poached figs, spices, drinking very well now, tannins soft, ripe figs, spices, not peppery, medium + finish. 89 Points
Saumur rouge 2015
Red fruit dominates, nice underlying minerality, tannic bite dominates needs time. 90 Points
Saumur Rouge 2016
A big step up, more concentration and suppleness, needs time but for a wine under 12€ fantastic. 92 Points
For me a great discovery. The whites are very dry and mineral driven to the extreme, fruit aromas are more in the background. I would buy every white from their range but the real stand out is their 2015 Savennieres Clos le grand Beaupréau. Intensely mineral driven, bouche deep and persistent, in the background, green apples, nice acidity. I would rather have six of these for 2o€ than one Bréze for 120€. 95 Points
The Reds perhaps not so consistent, but worth mentioning the 2016 Anjou villages Clos de la Houssaye. Intense fruit, medium + finish, lacks aciidty to give it a real edge. At 15€ this is really nit picking
Domaine du Rochouard
Very good selection of red wines. I prefer their Bourgueils to their Saint Nicolas. Highlight was the Les onze Boisselées 2015. Still very young but the structure, acidity is all in place. 92 Point
Domaine des Varinelles
If Ogereau was my white wine discovery this domaine was my red wine discovery.
Too big a selection to list each wine but fantastic quality.
They presented a 2018 Red L'Inconnu (maceration Carbonique) If I had a restaurant this would be my house wine. Fruit forward bouche, very rich with enough spice to make it interesting.
Laurentiale 2016 Restrained dark fruit, needs time to open up, assam tea, olives, spicy, nice acidity 92 points
„1900“ 2015 The grape come from vines planted in 1900, the wine is raised in cement tanks for 13 months. Has a burgundian feel to it, very seductive and tender, elegant acidity soft spices great finish. 94 points.