Loire Valley

Loire Valley

It’s impossible to quantify, but there is soulfulness—you might even say honesty—to the wines of the Loire Valley. Muscadet presents some of the best values in French wine. Compare these zingy, mineral-driven pleasers to dry Riesling or Chablis. The towns of Chinon and Bourgeuil raise Cabernet Franc to some of its highest expressions as a stand-alone variety. Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé produce some of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world—deep yet brisk, steely, and chalk full of minerality. Last but certainly not least is the Chenin Blanc from areas such as Vouvray, Montlouis-sur-Loire, Quarts-de-Chaume and others, with styles ranging from bone-dry to dessert sweet—and don’t forget about the bubbles!

It’s hard to think of any French wine region being “under the radar,” but the Loire Valley comes close, and that suits its fans just fine.

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  6. Domaine Huet Le Haut Lieu Vouvray Demi-Sec

    2018 / 750 ml. | Item#50140

    RP9393 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 31st May 2019
    The 2018 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Demi-Sec is clear, bright and fresh on the chalky/spicy nose. Round and lush on the palate, the 2018 is a dense, refined and charmingly sweet Haut-Lieu with accessible fruit and a stimulatingly salty finish that reveals very fine tannins and lovely sur-lie texture. This is a delicious Chenin from Vouvray but still young. Tasted in May 2019.
    SP9393 pts. - Wine Spectator - Nov 15, 2019
    Round and expressive, with great balance between the sweetness of orchard fruit and bracing acidity reminiscent of clementine. Jasmine and sweet spice notes emerge midpalate, while ground ginger details mark the velvety finish. Drink now through 2034. 2,100 cases made.
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    Primary Grape: Chenin Blanc | All Grapes: Chenin Blanc

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  7. Domaine Huet Le Haut-Lieu Vouvray Sec

    2019 / 750 ml. | Item#52298

    RP9595 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 23rd Jul 2020
    The deep brown clay soils of the Haut-Lieu plateau provide the typical fruitiness and freshness wonderfully in Huet’s 2019 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec. Ripe pear, tangerine and orange fruits with notes of lemon grass and green pimientos intertwined with very fine chalky and later tobacco notes give a remarkably fine, elegant and harmonious, subtly complex and simply gorgeous bouquet with floral (lime blossom!) and yeasty aromas that are immediately attractive. Delicate and linear on the palate, this is a pure, fresh, bone-dry, lean and textured, highly refined and perfectly interwoven Chenin with persistent purity, finesse, salty-mineral tension and very fine tannins. Highly finessed and so pure and vivacious! This is a chalky picture-book Haut-Lieu that can age for many years, even though it is already dangerously seductive! There was no dry Le Haut-Lieu produced in 2018, but the 2019 is possibly the finest, most delicate and elegant I’ve had in recent years, at least at this early stage. A terrific and buoyant Vouvray that any Chenin lover should try — or, better yet, cellar! 13% alcohol. 80,000 bottles made. Tasted in July 2020.
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    Primary Grape: Chenin Blanc | All Grapes: Chenin Blanc

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  11. Francois Chidaine Clos du Breuil Montlouis Sur Loire

    2018 / 750 ml. | Item#30504

    VN9393 pts. - Vinous - Jul 2020
    Golden in color. The fragrant nose presents tropical fruit, white blossoms and white peach. Rich stone fruit features on the palate, which is zesty and salty with lots of verve and a long stony finish. Full-bodied and energetic, with a long life ahead of it. Ripe, expressive Chenin Blanc, and a great value.
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    Primary Grape: Chenin Blanc | All Grapes: Chenin Blanc

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