Les 5 du Vin

5 journalistes parlent du vin

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2018 Loire Millésime approaches + recently tasted

Surplus to

A leg brace that is now thankfully surplus to requirements

Loch G2

Loch Gynack above Kingussie

when the weather is fine there are compensations
to convalescing in the Scottish Highlands

After spending all of 2018 to date in Newtonmore recovering from my slip on the ice on 2nd January as well as looking after my late mother-in-law, I looking forward to getting back to London this Friday. Then on Sunday I will be meeting up with some of my distinguished colleagues in Blois, including our grand fromage – Hervé –  for the second edition of Loire Millésime.

Last year’s Loire Millésime was held at the Abbaye de Fontevraud. Unfortunately this first edition coincided with some of the successive nights of frost that significantly reduced the 2017 crop for many Loire producers as well as in other parts of France like Bordeaux. Happily the long range forecast up to 30th April predicts that night-time temperatures will be well above freezing, so vignerons should be able to sleep peacefully in their beds.

During my time in Newtonmore I have been tasting some Loire wines, which producers have kindly sent me to ensure that I have not been totally unemployed. These have come from the 2015, 2016 and 2017 vintages – all of which produced some very attractive wines. It has been particularly good to taste some 2017s I was unable to make my customary visit to the Salon des Vins de Loire and its associated tastings. This has confirmed the good impressions that I formed from visits during the harvest.

Here are some recent notes on wines:

2016 Le Petit Clos, Vouvray sec, Bernard Fouquet – Domaine des Aubuisières

This 2016 Vouvray Sec Le Petit Clos from Bernard Fouquet has terrific balance – a lovely blend of ripe fruit with vibrant acidity giving a typical austere Vouvray finish. This comes from a single vineyard with the vines planted on clay limestone. 

The 2016 is drinking well now but clearly has the potential to mature and develop over many years. Demonstration that Bernard Fouquet is among the best producers in Vouvray.   

2015 Jubilation, Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Le Pallet, Les Vignerons du Pallet

2015 Jubilation, Le Pallet, Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Le Pallet

Les Vignerons du Pallet

Le Pallet is one of the three Muscadet Cru Communaux that have been officially ratified (2011), although there are another four waiting to be officially ratified. Jubilation is made by the co-operative Les Vignerons du Pallet. Jubilation was the first of the cru communaux to be awarded a Gold medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards.

This ripe and rich 2015 Jubilation is far from a typical Muscadet Sèvre & Maine that one would typically match with shellfish. The 2015 Jubilation calls for a grilled or sauced fish dish or a chicken dish – either plain or pot roasted.

Still young it will be interesting to see how this 2015 cru develops. Will it gain additional complexity?  


2017 Anjou Rouge Domaine Ogereau – very drinkable


A delightfully drinkable, soft 2017 Anjou Rouge (100% Cabernet Franc) from Domaine Ogereau – one to enjoy now with its fresh, youthful black fruits rather than keep to see how it develops. Better to age the 2017 Anjou Villages, when it is released and which on this evidence should be very promising. 
If I were the Ogereaus I would bottle this in a screwcap as it is ideal to take on a picnic, so that there is no problem if you forget the corkscrew.