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Wine Flight to the Loire Valley

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

1- Karine Lauverjat, Pouilly-Fumé

Grape: Sauvignon Blanc

Geography: Loire Valley, France

Appellation: Pouilly-Fumé

Farming Type:  Sustainable

 

The Lauverjat family has been growing grapes in Sancerre for generations in the tiny village of Sury-en-Vaux. Husband-and-wife team Christian and Karine have 12-hectares of vines in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. They have made improvements over the years, including a transition to sustainable viticulture. They favor working the soil and use a seaweed to combat disease, reducing chemical intervention. They grow grass in the rows to prevent erosion. In the cellar the whites are made in thermo-regulated tanks and the reds are made in large wooden conical tanks. Several years ago, they invested in a new clay filtration system that allows them to very gently filter the wines without stripping them of their character. The wines from Lauverjat undoubtedly represent some of the best values to be had from the appellation.

 

Tasting Notes: “Crunchy, with lots of gooseberry and thyme notes bouncing around, while flint and fleur de sel accents drive the mouthwatering finish.” Wine Spectator: 91


2- Haut Bourg, Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu

Grape: Melon de Bourgogne

Geography: Loire Valley, France

Appellation: Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu

 

Located in the heart of the Muscadet appellation Côtes de Grandlieu, the Domaine du Haut Bourg was built by four generations of vignerons. The first vine was planted in 1945 and today brothers Hervé and Nicolas Choblet run their 40 hectares estate together.

The Domaine is located northwest of the lake, in the town of Bouaye. Its soils consist of mica schist, granite, along with sandy and sedimatery rocks. This combination lends a certain texture and balance to the wines. The Choblet brothers practice "lutte raisonnée" in the vineyard, meaning they try to avoid chemical or mechanical intervention at all possible times during the growing season except in the rare instance where they risk losing their entire crop. Their vines average 30 years of age, with some vines as old as 60 years old. These old vines are highly valued in providing structure and depth to their wines.

 

Tasting notes: “Aged for 10 years in underground tanks on its lees, this wine has just been bottled. That aging process has preserved the wine's freshness, keeping the crisp acidity in place. So while the wine is beautifully mature, it is still so bright and fruity.” Wine Enthusiast: 92

 

 



3- Château du Hureau, Saumur Argile Blanc

Grape: Chenin Blanc

Geography: Loire Valley, France

Appellation: Saumur

Features: Organic

 

The historic property of Château du Hureau - one of the only wine producing Châteax in the Loire - is among the top producers of Saumur-Champigny. The château has been in the family for generations, and today, is run by fifth generation vigneron Philippe Vatan and his daughter Agathe. Located four miles east of Saumur and 15 miles west of Chinon, the Hureau Chateau itself boasts jaw-dropping Loire-esque architecture including an octagonal tower, mansard roofs and boar-headed weathervane from which the estate derives its name. The 13th century wine caves are built into an enormous tufa-limestone shelf that borders the back of the château. And it is on top of this shelf, planted in this same tufa-limestone, where the Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc grows.

 

Tasting notes: “From the first impression to the last drop, this is a wonderful wine. Its changes over the course of an evening are not very dramatic, yet its an elusive wine throughout, with a distinct autumn quality to it, and sweetness teetering on the edge of sublime. There is an aromatic quality like pear skin that is strong and comforting; also presents vivid notes recalling beeswax, marzipan, honeysuckle and oranges. Beautiful detail on the finish. Earns highest echelon rating for profile, food-friendliness and value. So there you go: a royal flush.” Opening a bottle


4- Domaine de Montcy, Cour-Cheverny Plénitude

 

Grape: Romorantin

Geography: Loire Valley, France

Appellation: Cour-Cheverny

Farming: Certified Organic

 

Terra Laura is an estate, in the Loire Valley, founded by Laura Semeria and her husband Dominique in 2007. With an aim to produce wines at the highest level the Cheverny appellation has to offer, they purchased an old estate with 15-80 year-old vines. They are also one of the few producers of the tiny appellation of Cour-Cheverny.

 

Tasting notes: “Straw yellow color, this wine has small notes of wood, with aromas of rhubarb and quince. Very long lasting and mineral, it evolves in the glass while it is opening up.”