Loire Valley Wines

What’s to Love About Loire Valley Wines

Woman on Wine with Amy Reiley

A bargain from France?… Sure, we wine junkies love to speak of the Rhône Valley as offering better values than some of France’s most popular wines, but there is another exquisite region producing wines almost wholly unheard of on foreign shores. I’m talking about Loire Valley wines.

The Loire is a region noted for “food friendly” wines, both red and white; one of the few great wine regions untouched by the cult wine phenomenon and the artificial pricing the cult lure brings. Sure, it might take a little extra work to figure out the pronunciations, but then, the promise of great wine is enough to reduce any wine lover to pointing, isn’t it?

My wine recommendations:

2005 Vouvray Marquis de Goulaine
This is one of the best $11 bottles I’ve ever had the privilege to try. Ripe with apricot and honeysuckle flavors it is a pretty but certainly not wimpy wine. A touch of residual sugar makes for a faintly sweet finish – not too much, but enough to make the mind melt. $

Loire Valley Wines2005 Reuilly Blanc La Raie
If you could squeeze Meyer lemons, passion fruits and roses into a bottle, the result would taste something like this juicy little number. And although its fruit flavors are nothing but luscious, the wine maintains that flirty kind of acidity perfect for a summer’s
afternoon. $

2005 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie Domaine du Vieux Chai
Light and crisp as a spring morning, the wine offers cleansing aromas and flavors like lemongrass, lime zest and green tea. Yet despite its acidity, it somehow manages to coat the tongue with an oily softness. $

2005 Reuilly Rose La Grande Piece
Although it’s cloudy appearance may come as a bit of a surprise, this unfiltered rose is still so very pretty in pink. Strawberry and vanilla are its dominant characteristics but it ends with a lingering yet faint impression of licorice. $

2004 Menetou-Salon Rose
A pretty little wine terrific for summer drinking. Its aromas and flavors of raspberries and strawberries are just the prelude to a surprisingly clean, lemon zesty finish. $-$$

1988 Chinon Couly-Dutheil Clos de L’Echo
If you’re wondering how Chinon, (the Loire’s well-respected Cab Franc- based reds), will age, here’s your chance to find out. Here’s a Cab Franc drinking at it’s prime, with a lush mouthful of brambles, black fruit and just a hint of cedar and smoke. Best of all is the finish, tinged with pepper. $$

2004 Saumur Champigny Filliatreau La Grande Vignolle
With a flavor profile that American Cab Franc drinkers have come to expect from their wine, this is a lovely and fairly priced red. It is easy to drink; complimentary to food and rather big-bodied for a $17 bottle. $$

$ under 15USD
$$ 15-25USD
$$$ 25-50USD
$$$$ over 50USD


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