Loire Valley is a unique region in France. It’s not like Burgundy with only two main grape varieties (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), or like Champagne with its signature sparkling wine style. The Loire Valley spans nearly 300 kilometres from the west coast to the middle of France. The region is split into four distinct sub-regions, then divided even further. What defines the Loire Valley is not one style, a few grapes or even a common climate. What brings the Loire Valley together is a river, and what defines it is its diversity. Nicknamed “The Garden of France,” in the Loire Valley you’ll find everything from red and white wines, to rose and sparkling wines. Grape varieties in the Loire are a mixed bag of just about everything, including Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Gris, Chenin Blanc and more! With all those grape varieties and wine styles, it might be challenging to know what to expect from the Loire Valley. When it comes to quality producers, the one thing you can always count on is finesse. The moderating effects of the Loire River offer an elegance to the wines, regardless of grape variety. The 2017 vintage in the Loire Valley meant earlier harvest and lower yields. This means you can expect smaller production and great quality for wines you can actually get your hands on from this vintage. Meant to be consumed young and fresh, we recommend drinking now slightly chilled at about 12 – 14 C.
A bright, pale ruby with a bit of brick glimmers in the glass.
You might not be able to get past the dusty aroma to find the fruit, but it’s there in spades. Along with the signature gravel aroma, there is a gorgeous floral and berry smell, reminiscent of violets and blueberries.
Lots of savoury notes with rhubarb, underripe raspberry, blueberry and watermelon rind. The acidity is rather soft until the finish when it really shines. This Pinot Noir takes a bit of time to really open up, so give it about 20 minutes before enjoying. It’s probably worth decanting to get it to come out of its shell and give you everything it’s got! The tannins are present and certainly grippier than expected but soften fairly quickly, leaving a chalky finish.
The key for pairing food with this Pinot Noir, is not to let the flavours of your dish take over the subtle, delicate flavours of the wine. Pairing with steak will soften the tannins, but it should be very lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, rather than steak spices or a flavourful sauce, which will likely overpower the wine. BBQ Pork Chops or vegetarian dishes would be a better accompaniment, or serve with a cheese plate before the meal.
Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris
Retail: $31.99 Club: $25.49
Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Merlot
Retail: $29.99 Club: $23.49