The Resurgence of the Loire Valley – Premium Appellations Are Reasserting Themselves with Every New Release…

Much has been written about the brilliance of the Loire Valley whites and reds, but of course the 2015 vintage heralded some very opulent, exotic, atypical whites and indeed some super suave, rich, ripe, elegant reds. I will be the first to admit that I have been so preoccupied tasting 2015s that I have failed to get a good look in on the 2016s that seem will be imminently released into the market due to low trade stock holdings. As a buyer, it gets just harder and harder to keep up with new releases, especially when either demand is high or supply is so meagre due to short European vintages.


Today I took the opportunity to have another look at the Comte Lafond Sancerre 2016 white, drinking a bottle over lunch. Baron Patrick de Ladoucette produces this wine in the Sancerre Controlled Appellation area, which includes the villages of Bué, Chaudoux, Chavignol and Verdigny. Vines are aged from 25 to 35 years and the the soils are typically a combination of clay, limestone and silica.


Comte Lafond Sancerre 2016, 12.5 Abv.

This is a super elegant Sauvignon Blanc with the most delicate, pretty aromatics. So expressive and complex with a nose of white peaches and cream, lemon butter, sweet baking herbs, thyme and fresh crunchy green fennel root notes. So multi-dimensional and multi-layered, with stem ginger and lemon grass nuances dominant. The palate is taught, direct and focused with lashings of crunchy gooseberry, green Granny Smith apples, green tea and yet more crushed fennel root. Lovely balance, vibrant crisp crunchy acids and an alluring chalky, dusty Bon Bon sweet palate that is so tantalising. This Grand Vin possess such lovely depth and texture, but is perhaps more linear and mineral than the exotic 2015, and more piquant and fresh, more in the mould of the superb 2014. A fabulous expression from the Loire with incredible concentration of flavour and detailed length. Drink now to 2026+.

(Wine Safari Score: 94+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)


Tasting the Noble de Ladoucette Pouilly Fume 2014, 12.5 Abv, Loire…

Pouilly-Fumé and the other Central Loire Vineyards were very fortunate in 2014. Not only did they have a good vintage but they had a fairly generous vintage unlike other parts of the Loire where many producers had their third successive short vintage. In Pouilly quality producers harvested around 60 hl/ha and the quality was high. Indeed, 2014 appears to be similar to a vintage such as 1990 where both the yields and quality were high. 


The colour of this vibrant wine bristles with a lime green tinge to a brilliant bright pale straw yellow. The super complex nose drifts between hints of cut grass, green pepper corns, capsicum, lemon grass, lime peel and crunchy white citrus fruit. Then more nuances of gun flint, struck flint, dusty limestone and wet chalk. Wow, a lot going on here and I haven’t even tasted the wine yet. Every time you return to the glass the wine has revealed another aromatic layer, the sign of true pedigree. The last tangerine aromas becon the first sip. Crisp and crunchy, this wine is harmonious and beautifully balanced, but simultaneously crunchy and bright with tart green apple acidity, cut grass, gooseberry fruits, and a lemon – lime marmalade concentration. The finish is pithy, spicy, and cool with a grassy, herby verve. A seriously complex, accomplished wine from one of the best white vintages in the Loire valley in over a decade. Buy this beauty while you can!

(Wine Safari Score: 94+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)


Drinking Domaine Huet Perlant Vouvray 1959 Demi Sec, Loire… at The Remedy Wine Bar…

I had a wonderful opportunity last week to drink a few glasses of this beautiful old Chenin Blanc from Domaine Huet at the fabulous Remedy Wine Bar in London. It’s old, it’s Chenin Blanc… What else could you ask for? Seriously!


Rich, caramelized yellow peaches, sweet honey combe, ripe and intense. Palate is expansive with soft sweet yellow fruits, no edges, and a profound peach confit finish. The length and complexity are beguiling, intriguing. The bubble has dissipated but the complexity is impressive. Just love the coffee bean and crisp caramel brittle intensity. A great vintage, superb depth, beautifully aged wine.

(Wine Safari Score: 92+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)