New Release – Loire Whites
Reviewed: 11th November 2013
The team at Lamont’s has landed another couple of containers of imported wines and suggested that I pop in and try a cross section of their sauvignon blancs from the Loire Valley. These wines are quite different in style to that which we see from NZ or Australia or the SBS blends from Bordeaux.
Oak use can vary significantly, but is often used for at least a part of the cuvee to add creamy complexity via barrel fermentation.
In this tasting, the wines from Sancerre tended to be a little lighter than the Pouilly Fumes, but this is a broad generalisation. The wines from Sancerre were also a little less expensive on average, but no less enjoyable.
Below are my picks.
Domaine Fouassier – Sauvignon Blanc – Sancerre – Les Chailloux – 2011 (17.3). Clean, crisp and fresh, with a lovely, taut minerality running the length of the palate. Nicely textured, with a finish that has a slightly creamy texture. This is quite a neutral wine that will take light food well, but is a good drink solo. (A smart wine that does not show any overt oak characters, but does possess a creaminess that suggests at least part barrel fermentation).
Domaine Fouassier – Sauvignon Blanc – Sancerre – Les Chasseignes – 2011 (17.8). Another neutral wine, though there is a savoury/nutty character running through the palate. The finish is textured and creamy, whilst the persistence is admirable. The palate is mineral-like and flinty, with hints of spice and ripe fruit. A complex and powerful wine, with some winemaking inputs adding interest. (Would definitely handle food well).
Pierre Maudry – Sauvignon Blanc – Sancerre – L’Antique – 2012 (17.7). Pristine, lemony fruit and savoury complexity make this quite a complete wine. Bitter almond and supple acid carry the finish, with smoky notes to close. Savoury and long, this will be a great match to seafood.
Balland Chapuis – Sauvignon Blanc – Pouilly Fume – 2012 (17.2). I like this. Whilst it is quite neutral, the wine has zip and life. Hint of minerals and struck match add interest. The palate is long, silky, creamy and refined. I would like a touch more mid-palate weight, but this has lovely mouth-feel and texture. Sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Pierre Maudry – Sauvignon Blanc – Pouilly Fume – Tradition – 2012 (17.8). Viscous, mouth-coating and savoury, with good minerality. Restrained and supple, with quality fruit and winemaking. This should build and develop in the bottle as everything is in place, it is just very closed and tight. Quality fruit and winemaking on show.