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Tasting Report: Loire Valley Wines 2018

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If you need a crowd-pleasing wine — generally a white wine — it never hurts to look to the Loire. These wines are often extremely affordable and usually quite approachable, even though stylistically they can be all over the map. (79 appellations can be found in this region, and 24 grape varieties are grown here across 53,300 hectares of vineyards.)

Recently we attended a tasting of Loire wines — our first major look at the region since 2011 — and reviewed a wide range of wines, both white and red. Brief thoughts on everything tasted — most of which should be available nationwide — follow.

Tasting Report: Spring to Loire 2018

2016 Perle de Mer Melon de Bourgogne – Slightly creamy, melon notes, a little fig. B / $15
2016 Barton & Guestier Sancerre – Very bright, zippy, lemon-lime notes. A- / $28
2016 Barton & Guestier Vouvray
– Sweeter, some melon notes, florals. B / $14
2016 Sauvion Melon de Bourgogne – Uncomplicated, fruity but gentle. B / $14
2016 Pascal Jolivet Val de Loire – Chewy, lemon notes; nice acidity and some minerals. B+ / $14
2017 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre – Very tropical, new world style. B+ / $29
2016 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Les Caillottes – Nice balance, fresh citrus, tons of minerals. A- / $38
2016 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Sauvage – Excellent balance; slightly creamy with acidic lemon notes. A / $73
2015 Domaine Leduc Frouin Anjou – Apple and some grapefruit; a slightly meaty edge. B / $19
2013 Chateau Pierre Bise Savennieres Clos de Coulaine – Quite dry, a certain meaty element. B / $25
2013 Chateau Pierre Bise Savennieres Clos de Grand Beaupreau – Heavy florals, honey, a savory edge on a bold body. B+ / $30
2015 Domaine Leduc Frouin Anjoy La Seigneurie – Pinot noir; dry, almost dusty with roasted meat and graphite notes. B / $19
2016 Thierry Delaunay Touraine La Vignette – Fresh and lively, melon with a vanilla finish. B+ / $18
2016 Roger & Christophe Moreux Sancerre Les Monts Damnes – Quite dry, bold minerals and graphite. B+ / $35
2017 Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Clos de Rougemont-Abbaye de Marmoutier
– Some eucalyptus notes here, a slight sweetness; candied melon. B / $27
2016 Domaine Dozon Chinon Clos du Saut au Loup
– Bright, violts, dried cherries; a bit of spice. A- / $23
2017 Domaine la Croix Saint-Laurent Sancerre 
– Bold but balanced; lively fruit — apple and quince. A / $30
2014 Domaine la Croix Saint-Laurent Sancerre Le Grand Chemarin
– Fresh; bright and steely, bold on the body. A- / $35
2015 Domaine la Croix Saint-Laurent Sancerre Le Chene Marchand 
– Creamy, with some lemon rind. A- / $35
2017 Saget La Perriere Domaine de la Perriere Sancerre
– Heavily meaty, mushroom notes. B- / $26
2016 Chateau de la Mulonniere M de Mulonniere Anjou
– Sweeter, with butterscotch notes. B / $15
2015 Saget La Perriere Marie de Beauregard Vouvray
– Cotton candy and brown sugar. B / $20
2014 Chateau de la Mulonniere Coteaux-du-Layon-Beaulieu-sur-Layon
– Heavily meaty, pungent. B- / $16
2016 Couly Dutheil Chinon Blanc de Franc
– White cabernet franc, interesting — a confusing wine with lots of herb and spice, nougat and bacon fat. B+ / $19
2016 Domaine Gilet Vouvray
– Interesting herbal angle. B+ / $19
2014 Couly Dutheil Chinon Clos de L’Echo
– Heavy barnyyard, boldly meaty, blown out. C+ / $31
2012 Couly Dutheil Chinon Baronnie Madeleine
– Classic cabernet franc density, with bacon and brambles. A- / $22

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the creator and editor in chief of Drinkhacker.com, a veteran technology journalist, and the owner of Null Media, a custom blogging company.

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