The Loire is the other country of sweet wines. In this berth of the douceur de vivre (sweetness of life), many sweet wines are made. You should drink them, now.
Domaine Huet, Le Mont moelleux 2017, Vouvray. 17/20
THE DOMAINE. A Vouvray reference whose 35 hectares of Chenin are cultivated biodynamically. The Mont is a flinty clay terroir called “Perruche”.
THE WINE. A beautiful pale gold colour with aromas of jasmine and saffron. The palate is well structured, enhanced by a floral acidity that balances the whole.
THE DETAIL. The estate has been owned for a few years by an American family of Filipino origin. Perhaps an opportunity to increase the reputation of Loire Chenins abroad?
Domaine du Clos Naudin, Réserve 2016, Vouvray. 18/20
THE DOMAINE. The other great reference in Vouvray, where the handover is between Philippe Foreau and his son Vincent. The estate has been certified organic since 2015.
THE WINE. Reserved, the nose gradually opens up with notes of saffron, mango and acacia honey. The palate combines fatness and tension. Finishes on very nice bitters.
THE DETAIL. These wines are made to be kept and enjoyed with food. You should go and get the old vintages from the cellar.
Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, Cuvée des Loups 2018, Montlouis-sur-Loire. 18/20
THE DOMAINE. For thirty years Jacky Blot has been at the head of his estate, which has contributed greatly to the reputation of Montlouis. The quality is at the highest level.
THE WINE. The purity made mellow, with a well-cleared fruitiness and a bright final energy. One sip calls for the next.
THE DETAIL. Like many meticulous, forward-thinking winemakers, Jacky Blot has not always been spared by his AOC. As a result, some of his wines are now vin de France.
Château Pierre-Bise, Les Rouannières 2017, Coteaux-du-Layon. 16/20
THE DOMAINE. The brothers René and Christophe Papin have been at the helm of this 45-hectare estate for 20 years, 80% of which is planted with chenin.
THE WINE. The 2017 has good depth and the perfect balance between richness and acid support, with notes of dried apricot and a smooth texture.
THE DETAIL. Rouannières is a very windy place on hard spilite soils which can make the wines austere in their youth. A good sweet wine, you have to wait for it.
Domaine Ogereau, La Martinière 2018, Quarts-de-Chaume Grand Cru. 16/20
THE DOMAINE. Vincent is gradually giving way to his son Emmanuel, the leading light of the young guard who is refreshing Anjou. If everything is good to eat in the pig, everything is beautiful at the Ogereau: reds, dry whites, sweet whites.
THE WINE. Great purity for this mellow Chenin, free from any heaviness, with a resonant and precise length.
THE DETAIL. The rejuvenation also includes original cuvée names: L’Anjouée, L’Enthousiasme, En Chenin.
Domaine Belargus, Rouères 2018, Quarts-de-Chaume Grand Cru. 17/20
THE DOMAINE. Ivan Massonnat’s new estate will produce dry wines without abandoning the sweet ones. A good start, as the richness and complexity of the wines are best expressed in the plot-based cuvées.
THE WINE. Rouères is one of the original plots of the appellation. A concentrated, aromatic wine, with notes of candied orange.
THE DETAIL. In very good vintages, the estate will produce an Ultra cuvée to replace Ambroisie de Jo Pithon.