Still on the road encore!
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week I spent at Millésime Bio in Montpellier. Then on Thursday morning I travelled by train from Montpellier to Angers changing in Paris. After a relaxing day on Friday, the tasting started again on Saturday and Sunday before the start of the Salon des Vins de Loire yesterday. Firstly at the Renaissance tasting in the Greniers de St-Jean (organic and bio-dynamic producers). Then when that got too crowded I moved onto Demeter (biodynamics) which was very quiet as the organisers appeared to not to have done any promotion. I can only presume that wine people in Angers would find their way there following the stars and the planets!
On Sunday afternoon I went for a short time to Les Anonymes in the Salons Curnonsky and tasted a few things there but it was pretty crowded and haphazard. When the organisers had to escort a drunk from the event I decided that it was also time to go!
Tasting 2014 Loires over the past fortnight or so confirms that it is certainly a very good vintage for dry whites and reds with many attractive, well balanced wines. Sweet wines are also promising but look to be less concentrated than 2005, 2010 or 2011. However, as Stéphane Branchereau remarked the tendency is now towards sweet wines with less concentration and sweetness but with greater freshness. 2014 may well have provided this. Comparing 14 with previous vintages Stéphane puts the 2014 sweets between 2009 and 2010.
This year the Salon has made some changes. La Levée de la Loire (organic wines) has been incorporated into the overall Salon in a large space separate but attached to the main Salon. It will run for three days. Previously La Levée ran for just one day and was held at the Greniers de St. Jean in the centre of Angers, so visitors had to decide whether to go to the main Salon or to Levée. This is definitely a step forward. It is a pity, however, that La Dive Bouteille continues in St Hilaire-St Florent, very close to Saumur, in competition with the main Salon and La Levée de la Loire.
There are those who regret the segmentation that you know see at the Salon. Others, who fear that the organic producers will eventually take over the whole fair. However, with fierce competition from around the world, Loire producers need to be working to to ensure that they make the best possible wine they can.
I fancy that this 2015 edition of the Salon des Vins de Loire may be the ‘break or make’ edition.