What to drink this week

Loire wines for sum­mer

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

I’ve al­ways as­so­ci­ated the Loire with sum­mer. My first visit there as a teenager was more about châteaux than gas­tron­omy, but I still re­mem­ber the de­li­cious­ness of the ripe lo­cal peaches, Charentais mel­ons and cheeses. It seemed a land of plenty.

The Loire of­fers more than just Sancerre, Harry Eyres re­minds us

Why you should be drink­ing them

The Loire still has so much to of­fer, not least to wine lovers and es­pe­cially in sum­mer. Its Caber­net Franc- and Pinot Noir-based reds have an in­com­pa­ra­ble sap­pi­ness and whites from Sau­vi­gnon Blanc and Chenin can be both fresh and com­plex. Prob­a­bly its most fa­mous name is Sancerre, which is mainly white, but also comes in pink and pale-red forms. This week, I’m con­cen­trat­ing on per­haps less fash­ion­able names that can of­fer, in my view, bet­ter value for money.

What to drink

Mus­cadet comes from vine­yards around Nantes, near the mouth of France’s long­est river. It went through a long, dull patch, when vines were heav­ily cropped and char­ac­ter al­most non-ex­is­tent. How­ever, Mus­cadet is a resur­gent re­gion and the Mus­cadet de Sèvre et Maine Château du Cléray 2017 (be­low, £10.95; www. fromvine­yards­di­rect.com), from a fourth-gen­er­a­tion fam­ily es­tate, has a beau­ti­ful green­ish colour, in­trigu­ing stoni­ness on the nose and lively fruit with a prickle of CO2. Far more com­plex—al­most Bur­gun­dian—is Vou­vray Le Marigny Sec Bernard Fou­quet 2016 (£14.95; www.fromvine­yards­di­rect.com). The sub­tle nose sug­gests a bou­quet of wild­flow­ers and there is great del­i­cacy, but also power and length on the palate, with just a hint of oak from bar­rel fer­men­ta­tion. Do­maine de l’er­mitage Mene­tou-sa­lon Red 2016 (£17.95; www.fromvine­yards­di­rect.com) is Pinot Noir at its purest—a bou­quet of rasp­berry and roots with all the Loire’s spe­cial, sappy fresh­ness on the palate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.