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Muscadet: A Region in Crus Control

France: Loire, featured

Rebecca Gibb MW, Nov 2021

Life has not been kind to Muscadet producers in recent decades, but with the advent of a cru system, focusing on local terroir and extensive lees ageing, there are reasons for optimism. In my report, I ask if this is the rocket fuel this under-appreciated region needs to revive its fortunes or is it a case of Mission Impossible?

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Cellar Favorite: 1964, 1971 and 1974 Domaine Couly-Dutheil Chinon

France: Loire, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Oct 2021

During my June stay in Burgundy, I visited a friend in Beaune for supper. Rather than pouring Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, he served exceptional mature Loire wines from his personal cellar that all made a big impression.

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Cabernet Franc: The Dark Days Are Over

France: Loire, featured

Rebecca Gibb MW, Oct 2021

Loire Cabernet Franc is not what it used to be. The days of green flavors and rustic tannins have been consigned to history. Not only do the most recent vintages display a riper expression, they reveal a greater understanding of what it takes to make refined Cabernet Franc.

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Cellar Favorite: 1983 Domaine Charles Joguet Chinon Clos de la Dioterie

France: Loire, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2021

Though I have always adored the Loire, I never had the opportunity to devote time à la Burgundy or Bordeaux. However, in recent weeks, several exceptional mature Loire wines crossed my path. I would be remiss not writing about them.

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Sancerre: Taking the Temperature

France: Loire, featured

Rebecca Gibb MW, Aug 2021

I head to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé to discover growers battling challenging conditions year after year. The latest releases from the hot 2018, 2019 and 2020 vintages offer a ripe expression of Sauvignon in the central Loire, which may be a sign of things to come.

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Cellar Favorite: 2009 François Cotat Sancerre Les Culs de Beaujeu

France: Loire, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Rebecca Gibb MW, Aug 2021

You know you’re in luck when you get a date with François Cotat. Despite his wines’ cult-like status, Cotat isn’t one for the limelight. Red carpets are not laid out for visitors. Donning his well-worn tracksuit, Cotat makes my jeans and Converse combination look positively dressy.

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Marking Milestones with Moulin Touchais

France: Loire, featured, Verticals & Retrospectives

Rebecca Gibb MW, Apr 2021

In search of something to drink to mark a milestone birthday, those of us with a less-than-legendary birth year are resigned to the fact that our first breath did not coincide with the perfect growing season in Bordeaux. Revealing your date of birth to châteaux owners keen to open a special bottle often leads to a pitying shrug of the shoulders and a gallic ‘Bof’ when you disclose your parents poorly timed your entry to the world. But there’s hope for us yet: an underground cellar in a small Loire Valley town could be the answer to that elusive anniversary bottle that doesn’t require you to remortgage your house simply to mark a special date in the diary.

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Interpreting Chenin Blanc

France: Loire, featured

Rebecca Gibb MW, Mar 2021

In my first Loire report for Vinous, I take the pulse of Chenin producers with a focus on current releases from Savennières and Vouvray.

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Loire Chenin Blanc: Underrated No More

France: Loire, featured

Jason Wilson, Jul 2020

One of the immutable, unwritten laws of wine writing has been that you must describe Chenin Blanc with one or more of the following terms: underappreciated, underrated or underdog. But the reality is that some of the most exciting white wines in the world are Chenin Blancs from Anjou and Touraine, in famed appellations such as Montlouis, Vouvray and Savennières, as well as from a wave of producers in Anjou who’ve shunned the traditional appellations and chosen to bottle their wines as Vin de France.

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Big Love for Loire

France: Loire, featured

Jason Wilson, Jul 2020

The Loire wine scene is full of youthful energy. It’s no surprise that the region has also become an epicenter of the organic, biodynamic and natural winemaking that appeals to a younger generation. The first part of my coverage looks at Cabernet Franc with a focus mostly on Chinon, Bourgueil and Saumur-Champigny, as well as others from Anjou and Touraine.