Monday, 2 June 2014

If it's Friday it must be The Loire

After much discussion, thought and planning, four intrepid travellers from the Wine Club set off to find, taste, buy and share with members, wines from The Loire.  The wines to be enjoyed by members at the May meeting

To be just a tad pedantic about it, it wasn't just Loire Wines, it was the wines from the Eastern end of the river, the area from Saumur to Nantes.  But lets have a map....

So it was that the Wine Club meeting of May was all about the trip to buy and taste these great wines.

Slides were shown, the explanations given and the wines tasted.   What of these wines? Well most members will be aware that this area is considered by some to be the best area of France for wine, a massive amount is produced by hundreds of excellent vineyards.  The variety of grape is wide and  the wine types is also wide.  They are noted as being easy on the pallet and easy, at least to some extent, on the pocket.

Most will know of the Puilly Fume, the Sancerre, the Vouvray wines, well known and loved by the British for a very long time.  Not many, ourselves included, know of the wines from the Eastern area though, and it was these wines we wanted to try and return with.

Our quest started in Saumur, a beautiful city striding the wide Loire, inevitably with its own large an dominating chateau.

 Saumur saw us have our first tasting at the Vineyard, St Vincent.  I should add that all the vineyards were award winning with the wines being selected as being some of the best and recognised as such, not by us but by the authors of the Guide Hachette, a sort of bible for wine buyers in France

Wine buyer at work, St Vincent, Saumur  (This will take you to the short video shot at the vineyard)

Here we were able to taste and try some super Red wine and also some Crement, a wine made in the way that champagne is made.  A wine to bring home and also one we could try at the Club.
Here they both are:

On and further west from The St Vincent vineyard took us to the wines of Domaine St Mihoudy, another vineyard, another selection of very good wines.  

All we tasted were good and very different.  The Red a complex, Bordeaux style wine with 15% alcohol levels normally seen in wines from the South of France with its great sunshine hours.  The grapes for this wine were from old vines and are picked by hand with a further selection to be sure that only the every best of grapes were allowed in the wine.  But better than me explaining, listen and look at the maker of the wine giving his explanations.

Domaine St Mihoudy  (Video link)

The wines:  

The third vineyard was now well over to the West, a vineyard with a very good range of wines and an almost casual regard for the cups, competitions and awards gained by the wines.  We were given a superb tasting by the owner of the Vineyard.  We came away with a great and soft red of the club and some lovely Crement for our own use.   This vineyard, the Petit Clocher. 


Finally on the to the last but very interesting tasting.  This time by the Father and Son team at the Domaine des Pouiniers.  This time almost in sight of the Ocean. 

The wines were mainly made from the Muscadet grape.  Very good to taste but also refreshing, famous for matching with fish but also with light meats. A  great aperitif.    What was also refreshing was the price, we had heard that as you move West the prices come back but we did not expect to pay just over 3 Euros  c£2.60 for a really good bottle of award wining wine. 
The wines: 

...and the video

What was a very great pleasure was to be able to share such good wines and also to be able to give members present a bottle each of the Red wine of The St Vincent vineyard as well and Gros Plant wine from our last visit. 

Dates for the Diary

July 25th             German Wines
September 26th   Spanish Wines
November 28th   Dinner on a plate 


  1. Thank you for selecting such excellent wines and cheeses and for the surprise bottle to take away. An exceptional value evening! Looking forward to trying some more German Reds! I have had excellent red wine when working in Munich previously. I was told that basically they mostly keep it as they don't produce that much :)

    1. Thanks Adrian, yes good wines and looks like the German Evening will have some intersting wines as well.

  2. It was very good to see the wines tasting as good in freeland as they had at the vineyards - there is always the slight concern that the environment a wine is being tasted in can influence ones judgement about the wine itself.

    Anybody from Freeland or locality reading the blog and not on the mailing list - wishing to have news of upcoming meetings please email me and I will add you to the mailing list.

    1. Thanks Chris, and yes to anyone wishing to contact us, in addition you can always sign up at the top right of the Blog to receive via email.

  3. Please note a change of date, the September meeting will now be held in early October, the new date is now OCTOBER the third - Spanish wines