Chateau de La Preuille 2008

89 points

Muscadet, Loire. 12%

I’ve not heard of this producer before but apparently they have been around for 11 generations and there is a glowing endorsement from Robert Parker on the back no less.

Very much what I’d hope for in a Loire Muscadet. Savoury minerality. Not quite as striking as some mineral bombs, nor as racey as others. But good stuff. I continue to wonder why the world overlooks Muscadet.

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Monnières Saint-Fiacre Muscadet Serve & Maine 2005

91 points

Serve & Maine, Loire. 12.5%

Muscadet is usually thought of as cheap supermarket wine, useful dry white to wash down Oysters. But here is another profound Loire Muscadet. And 8 years old too!

In perfect condition, I guess it’s been in a cold Loire cellar. Impossible to guess the age by the nose.

Perhaps the creaminess on the palate gives it away but this is still fresh. Quite intense, juicy. Exciting wine.

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Huet Le Mont Vouvray 1995

89 points

Loire, France. 12%. Sec.

Golden colour of course. A honied aged dry Vouvray but with an astringent acid spine. Not full bodied. Flavoursome complex. Despite the lovely weight and charm the acid makes it best enjoyed with food. It has charm but with never be luscious.

UPDATE. Some bottles better than others. One had nice creamy luciousness. 91 points.

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2011 an unusual vintage in France

Reports are that they are already harvesting in the Loire, strange since when I was there in August it was a damp miserable Summer. This is all because of the weather way earlier when the grapes were first forming.

What sort of wines will this bring, hot weather early on bringing forward the harvest, and then a cool damp (not heavy rain) ripening period ?

Bordeaux also will be an early harvest.  It too had a cool Summer.  But once again September seems better (so far), will some last minute sunshine do any good ?  If it rains what will this mean ?  Either way I find it hard to be optimistic about the 2011 vintage.

Chateau La Variere 2007 Anjou Villages Brissac la chevalerie

85 points

Anjou Villages Brissac, Loire. 14%

For a difficult vintage here is another Loire red with dense dark colour and 14% alcohol. Quite a hard savoury wine, not green but without ripe flavours and tannins. If given this blond I’d more guess it were Malbec (from the Sud Ouest not Argentina) than Cabernet.

Leave for 3-5 years.

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Domaine Des Rochelles Anjou-Villages Brissac 2009 la croix de mission

87++ points

Anjou, Loire. 13.5%

I’m very unaccustomed to drinking wines this young but after being open for a day it was sufficiently approachable. Lovely dark crunchy fruit like something fresh off a tree (not vine).

I didn’t realise it was 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, only 10% Cabernet Franc. Quite a surprise given the impressive ripeness.

Ripe, fresh vinous acidity and tannin, clean and vibrant. Bordeaux look out, I don’t see many wines like this at this price. I need more Loire reds in my cellar.

Drink 2015-2020.

Update: WineDoctor has a profile on this estate.

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Domaine du Clos Naudin 2007 sec

91+ points

Vouvray, Loire. 13%

I really did not expect this wine to be drinking as well as it should. I love Vouvray but not when it is young tight and acidic. This is just starting to reveal its charms.

Good ripe fruit but still in a mineral rather than fruit driven style. Alcohol is in check. It’s really positioned well to become a superb Vouvray and soonish too. Try again in 2013.

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Huet Le Haut-Lieu moelleux 1993

91 points

Vouvray, Loire. 12%

I’m giving this lower points than I’d expect. It’s certainly a lovely luscious wine. Sweet bit not a dessert wine. Still with fantastic acidity. It’s concentrated almost spirity but with low alcohol.

It’s just that the lovely acidity and gentle sweetness overwhelm. It seems to lack minerality and aged characters.

Lovely elegant despite the concentration but a bit simple.

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Domaine de la Rouletiere Vouvray 2005 sec

89+ points

Vouvray, Loire, France.  12%

I’m not sure where I purchased this, I think it was for a modest price.  I had no great expectations and on opening it seemed to be a mildly sweet, only mildly acidic wine without great concentration.  Over the next two nights (under winesaver) it improved with the minerality becoming more pronounced.  Lovely Chenin Blanc, sufficient acidity and just a perfect slight touch of residual sweetness.  Good stuff, drink now and until 2014.