Grands vins - Loire

With its 52 000 ha of vines, this region is one of the largest of France. Thanks to its winemakers, who share a common pursuit and demand for quality, it produces great wines, each with its own particularity for there are so many different flavors and textures....

With its 52 000 ha of vines, this region is one of the largest of France. Thanks to its winemakers, who share a common pursuit and demand for quality, it produces great wines, each with its own particularity for there are so many different flavors and textures. Loire is the first producer of white and effervescent wines (excluding champagne) and has many prestigious appellation such as Sancerres, Vouvray or Quincy.

 

Reuilly

Appellation of 186 ha, spread over 2 departments : Cher and Indre. With the Sancerre AOC, they are the only vineyards from central France to produce wines of the 3 colors.

Main grape varieties : Sauvignon for white wines ; pinot noir exclusively for red wines ; pinot noir and pinot gris for rosés.

Soils : Calcareous and sandy marls.

Style of wines :

Red wines : aromas of strawberry, raspberry and small berries for these flavorful, sensible and slightly tart wines.

White wines : Aromatic and well-balanced wines.

Rosés : Full and flavorful in the mouth thanks to the presence of pinot gris.

 Quincy

Oldest Loire appellation with 224 ha, located east of Bourges and producing only quality white wines. Monks of the Citeaux order brought Sauvignon to the women's abbey of Notre-Dame de Beauvoir.

Main grape varieties : Sauvignon.

Soils : Sandy-gravel, sandy soils on red sands and sandy-silty formations with presence of clay.

Style of wines :

Light, bright and clear color. Aromas of fresh citrus, exotic fruits ; fresh, pure and pronounced in the mouth for these wines, best tasted after 3 years to be fully appreciated.

Sancerre

Most renowned appellation of the Loire vineyards, with 2770 ha spread over slopes and hillsides around Sancerre. Its wines, all excellent, are very appreciated by wine lovers, especially those from Chavignol and its famous Clos de la Néore.

Main grape varieties : 100 % sauvignon for white wines ; 100 % pinot noir for rosés and red wines.

Soils : Patchwork of gravel, grillottes, terres blanches and flint.

Style of wines : The wines have evolved a lot recently : fruity, refreshing wines maturing in bottles, they changed to more mineral wines thanks to barrel ageing.

Pouilly fumé (ou Blanc fumé de Pouilly)

The wines produced within this appellation, located on the Saint-Andelain mound, are excellent white wines from Loire with remarkable minerality and purity like the wines from Domaine Dagueneau, thanks partly to the flint found in the soils, which sublimates Sauvignon grapes.

Main grape varieties : Sauvignon.

Soils : Patchwork of chailloux (quartz), calcareous marls and flint.

Style of wines :

Depending on the soil, the wines can be very different but are all very appreciated by wine lovers :

        powerful aromas of infusions and white fruits for wines from calcareous marls

        exotic notes for mineral wines from chailloux

        perfect minerality with stony touches for wines from flint

Jasnières

Ancient appellation of the Loire vineyards, producing great white wines with remarkable purity and minerality and a great ageing potential, in spite of its small size of 65 ha.

Main grape varieties : Chenin.

Soils : Flint and tuffeau fragments, which restore perfectly the warmth of the grapes, allowing for a perfect maturity.

Style of wines :

Aromas of quince, exceptional mouth-feel for these crystal dry white wines.

Aromas of wax, acacia honey and quince jam for these well-balanced sweet white wines.

Vouvray, Montlouis-sur-Loire

Neighbor appellations close to Tours, divided by the Loire river and producing multiple styles of great Bourgogne white wines.

Main grape varieties : Chenin.

Soils : Tuffeau, calcareous and chalky rock, allowing the wines to deliver a great minerality and purity.

Style of wines :

The two appellations produce dry white wines as well as sweet as airy semi-dry white wines, sweet and charming white wines, and invigorating effervescent wines. Aromas of quince, linden, bergamot and acacia honey.

Chinon

Appellation of 2300 ha, located on the south bank of the Loire river and producing a majority of fine and deep red wines with a beautiful tannic structure, very appreciated by wine lovers.

Main grape varieties : Cabernet franc and cabernet-sauvignon for red wines and rosés ; chenin for white wines.

Soils : Limestone, clay mounds with flint, sand mounds in the Véron area.

Style of wines :

Red wines : aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant and elderflower, evolving into smokey, bloody and peppery notes for these excellent long-keeping wines, best tasted after at least 7 years of age.

White wines : aromas of chalk and flint for these well-balanced high-quality wines.

Rosés : flavorful wines, true image of the appellation

Bourgueil, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil

Neighbor appellations located on the right bank of the Loire river, producing well-structured and deep red wines with a great ageing potential, thanks partly to a high-quality breeding and passionate winemakers like Yannick Amirault.

Main grape varieties : Cabernet franc and cabernet-sauvignon.

Soils : Hillsides composed of sand with touches of clay.

Style of wines :

Bright ruby color, aromas of blackberry and plum with a subtle, precise taste and tight tannins for these wines, best tasted after a few years of ageing.

Coteaux-du-Layon

Reference appellation for sweet wines, located close to Angers and both sides of the Layon river, tributary of the Loire river. Its foggy autumn climate allows the development of the noble rot on golden grapes, favorable to the production of excellent sweet wines. The best villages and crus from this AOC may add their name to labels : Beaulieu-sur-Layon, Faye-d’Anjou, Rablay-sur-Layon, Rochefort-sur-Loire, Saint-Aubin de Luigné, Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay. A new appellation was created in 2007 : the Coteaux-du-Layon-Chaume AOC, to define more precisely the Chaume territory.

Main grape varieties : Chenin.

Soils : Patchwork of schist and sandstone.

Style of wines :

This appellation produces balanced sweet wines as well as syrupy sweet wines, all very appreciated by wine experts. Aromas of candied fruits (mirabelle, greengage, quince) with notes of brioche and truffle for this wines fit for ageing.

Saumur, Saumur-Champigny

Neighbor appellations located around Saumur. The Saumur AOC, spread over 2600 ha, produces dry red, white and effervescent wines. The Saumur-Champigny AOC only produces red wines in two completely different styles : supple wines made by wine-merchants, best tasted when young, and wines fit for ageing, made by independent winemakers, including the famous Clos-Rougeard.

Main grape varieties : Chenin, sauvignon and chardonnay for white wines ; cabernet franc, cabernet-sauvignon and pinot d’Aunis for red wines.

Soils : Chalky « terres blanches » for the Saumur AOC ; clay-limestone, silico-clay and tuffeaux soils for the Saumur-Champigny AOC.

Style of wines :

Wines from the Saumur AOC : subtle aromas and airy textures for effervescent wines ; without forgetting the delicious effervescent red wine produced from cabernet and gamay. Aromas of juicy fruits, notes of verbena and mineral taste for these delightful white wines. Supple and concentrated red wines.

Wines from the Saumur-Champigny AOC : aromas of tart black fruits, smokey wood and soft spices for these deep and elegant wines.

Savennières

Renowned appellation of 124 ha, located along the Loire river, producing exceptional white wines with noble austerity, from fully matured grapes. Some famous gastronomes even compared them to the mythical Montrachet and Château d'Yquem. The appellation name can be followed the name of a locality : Roche-aux-Moines or Coulée-de-Serrant.

Main grape varieties : Chenin.

Soils : Hillsides, perpendicular to the Loire river, with schist veins and a sand base.

Style of wines :

Aromas of juicy yellow fruits (mirabelle, quince, apricot) with a firm texture, elegant bitterness and a salty note for these great wines, fit for ageing and best tasted after at least 10 years of age to fully appreciate them.

Quarts-de-Chaume, Bonnezeaux

Mythical appellations for lovers of great syrupy wines with a strong ageing potential. The Quarts-de-Chaume AOC is located on the banks of the Loire river, spread over 50 ha ; the Bonnezeaux AOC, with 90 ha, is located in the heart of the Coteaux-du-Layon terroirs. They benefit from a soil and climate which are favorable to the development of noble rot.

Main grape varieties : Chenin.

Soils : Sandstone and schist.

Style of wines :

Aromas of bergamot, candied citrus, pine honey and quince, developping notes of « terres blanches », pear, pastry and white truffle with age for these exceptional and long-keeping wines.

 Muscadet

Vast appellation of 3600 ha, surrounded by Bretagne to the north, Vendée to the south and the Atlantic coast to the west, producing white wines with excellent value for money. Huge progress was made recently by passionate winemakers regarding vinification and breeding techniques.

Main grape varieties : Muscadet, also called « melon de Bourgogne ».

Soils : Patchwork of schist, micaschist, gabbros and a touch of granit.

Style of wines : Floral aromas of freshly cut grass and linden with notes of citrus and white fruits for these fresh, bright and delightful wines.

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