Loire: Latest Releases

2016 in the Loire valley is a tale of triumph from adversity. Frost in April appeared to be the hangover after great results in '14 and '15; but the rest of the year proved kind and the wines are superb.

The Loire’s range of variety and value is unparalleled: sparkling wines, bone dry to lusciously sweet whites, and reds spanning light and fruity to seriously structured. The choice might seem daunting, but we’re sure that everything here will thrill and delight.


Muscadet

Buffeted by the Atlantic, Muscadet is known for producing wine by the same name as fresh as sea breezes.

Always made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, the finest examples are aged “sur lie,” that is, on the spent yeast that remains from the wine’s fermentation. This time gives these wines added complexity, making them perfect partners for seafood dishes.

The best bit is that, given both their uniqueness and deliciousness, these wines remain astonishing value.

Anjou and Touraine

Chenin Blanc is the dominant white variety here. In Saumur, it makes sparkling wines of vibrant acidity and crisp apple flavours. To the west, you’ll find bone-dry examples in Savennières or lusciously sweet Côteaux du Layon, while in Vouvray & Montlouis-sur-Loire all these styles are made. Whatever the style, it’s always fresh and food-friendly. Cabernet Franc steps into the spotlight in Chinon & Bourgueil with fresh and fruity or intense and age worthy reds.

Central Vineyards

While the steely, mineral-driven Sauvignon Blancs produced around Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are rightly popular, other appellations shouldn’t be overlooked: brilliant wines from Reuilly, Quincy and Menetou-Salon also offer superb value.

More traditionally associated with Burgundy, Pinot Noir is also long-established in Sancerre and Reuilly. Pinot here is used to make supple reds and pale rosés. The reds are delicious easy-drinkers. The rosés give Provence a run for its money.