Our Loire Valley sales are always mobbed with happy customers – because so many grapes find their absolute best expression in the Loire Valley. South African Chenin Blanc is evaluated against the famed Vouvray and Savennières; Sauvignon Blanc the world over is inevitably compared to Sancerre; and New York Cabernet Franc must compete with the grape’s benchmark bottlings from Chinon.
Any time you’re looking for something flawless and inspired, head to our Loire Valley section! For an introduction to the major Loire appellations, scroll down, or head straight to the sale.
A Few of our Favorite Loire Wines
Muscadet: Produced in some of the coolest climates in the Loire, Muscadet is a bracingly dry, seafood-friendly white wine. Made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape (which hardly exists at all in the rest of the world), these refreshing whites are ideal partners for oysters and mussels.
Anjou and Saumur: Here in the heart of the Loire Valley, most white wines are based on Chenin Blanc, while most reds and rosés are based on Cabernet Franc. Saumur is particularly famous for its delicious sparkling wines, both dry and off-dry. The rosés of Anjou also span the flavor spectrum, ranging from luscious and fully sweet to dry and earthy.
Chinon: Cabernet Franc is truly at home in Chinon. In Bordeaux, the red grape is usually assigned a minor role in blends (if it is used at all), but in the Loire it is allowed to shine in varietal wines made from 100% Cabernet Franc. At its best, Chinon perfectly embodies finesse in winemaking.
Touraine, Cheverny, Quincy, Pouilly, Menetou-Salon, and Sancerre: Along the eastern stretch of the Loire River, the Sauvignon Blanc grape achieves its finest expressions. White wines from these appellations range from lean and overtly mineral to rich and subtly smoky. The Sancerre appellation makes some of the most sublime Sauvignon Blancs in the world. (Sancerre Rouge, made from Pinot Noir, is excellent as well.) Prices for the sought-after wines of Sancerre have, in some cases, risen along with the region’s prestige, so (pro tip!) look to the neighboring appellations of Quincy and Touraine for amazing values in Sauvignon Blanc.
Top Deals From Today’s Sale
Anjou Blanc “Cuvée Les Rangs de Long”, Ch. Soucherie – 2010
From a producer known for exquisite Savennières comes this waxy, golden Chenin Blanc. Full-textured with notes of fresh peach, honeydew, and white flowers, all balanced by a crisp acidity. This is a white that does not try to be loved – it is simply lush and mineraled and honest. Drink it on its own or serve alongside buttery fish and salty chèvre.
Coteaux de Vendômois, Dom. de Montrieux – 2010
A Pineau d’Aunis with a classy concentration of peppery goodness. Raspberry merges with pink peppercorns on a well-structured and graceful palate.
Le TelQuel, Thierry Puzelat – 2011
This is a Gamay wine from the Loire Valley, made by renegade natural winemaker Thierry Puzelat. Get ready for some spicy, musky action on the palate. This unadulterated wine benefits from a decanting.
Vouvray “Tuffeau,” Thierry – 2010
A limpid gold Chenin evoking richly textured ambrosia. The fruit-filled bouquet of quince and apricot is laced with notes of almond and acacia flowers. Texturally balanced, this off-dry wine finishes with a juicy crispness that demands you reach for another glass… or a piece of cheese. Pair with buttery pasta, rich chicken and fish, or light fruit desserts.