Loire - 2018 Range

2017 is a superb vintage in this part of France, and you'll also find late releases from a few older, equally celebrated years.

Whether you’re after leading Pouilly-Fumé from Jonathan Pabiot, Bordeaux-rivaling Cabernet Franc from Charles Joguet or the astonishing 1968 Coteaux du Layon from Moulin Touchais, here’s where to look.


Muscadet

As the furthest west region within the Loire, and most buffeted by the Atlantic, Muscadet is known for producing wine as fresh as sea breezes.

Always made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, the finest examples are aged “sur lie”. This time gives the wines added complexity, making them perfect partners for seafood dishes, not least in the summer sun.

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

Anjou & Touraine

Anjou and Touraine is dominated by Chenin Blanc for whites and Cabernet Franc for reds. Chenin is one of the wine world’s great chameleons, producing wines ranging from bone dry to lusciously sweet and even traditional method sparkling. In Chinon and Bourgueil, Cabernet Franc makes fresh and fruity red wines, and other examples that rival Right Bank Bordeaux for ageworthiness.

Central Vineyards

Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are undoubtedly the biggest names in the Loire. Their steely, mineral-driven Sauvignon Blancs have loyal followings. However, other appellations shouldn’t be overlooked: brilliant wines are made in Reuilly, Quincy and Menetou-Salon and offer superb value.

More traditionally associated with Burgundy, Pinot Noir is long-established in Sancerre and Reuilly; where it makes delicious easy-drinking reds and pale rosés. The rosés give Provence a run for its money.