We've unearthed some fascinating and, at times, awkwards surprises from the Loire this week. We'll be sharing our spoils at Brockley, Tottenham Green and Wapping Markets.
Scroll down for details and then come and find us for a tipple.
Gorge Sèche, Le Clocher de Sainte Anne - Côt/Gamay/Pineau d’Aunis - Loire, 2013
Made by Brendan Tracey, a former journalist, punk and radio host, to biodynamic principles on a 5 ha estate, this rustic wine is made in his garage. Produced naturally without any additives and against the trend of wines in the AOC, this super-light, bouncy red is great chilled as an apéritif or with chicken or prawns.
Domaine de la Pépière - Melon de Bourgogne - Muscadet Sèvre et Maine - Loire, 2013
On Marc Ollivier’s 12 ha estate, organic grapes from 25 year-old vines are harvested by hand (a rarity in the AOC). The wine rests on its lees for eight months producing a crisp, mineral and fresh muscadet. Perfect for seafood, salads and light dishes.
Cuvée Sylvestre - Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc - Loire, 2009
Vignobles Herbel, a project of Laurent and Nadège Herbel, this estate only produce a vintage in years when growing conditions are just right. This low-yield estate harvests grain par grain to produce an organic and biodynamic wine which offers fresh vibrant fruits and slight tang. Enjoy at a picnic or with grilled fish.
Happy Pet Nat. - Domaine Briseau - Chenin Blanc - Loire, 2004
At Domaine Briseau, nothing is added: there is no chaptalization, no selected yeasts, no sulphur, no enzymes, no de-acidification, no fining. Grapes are harvested by hand on this biodynamic estate producing a cool climate Chenin with slight austerity and a rich champagnesque edge. A beautiful apéritif.
Chateau Ligré - Cabernet Franc - Laroche St. Paul, Chinon, 1976
1976 in the Loire saw an early and exceptional harvest with 1,790 hours of sunlight hours recorded. The first vintage from this house (now owned by Pierre Breton) has aged well to produce a grand wine with secondary and tertiary aromas and flavours of autumn leaves, dried fruits, leather and earth - subtle, delicate and almost fleeting, a well-aged wine at its peak to be drunk now or in the near future.
Panier de Fruits - Jean François Chéné - Loire, 2009
A young winemaker working since 2005 in Beaulieu-sur-Layon, Jean-François Chéné grows 4 ha of vines biodynamically. He seeks authenticity in his work, and minimizes intervention in the cellar to give expression to the fruit, mineral and soil. Panier de Fruits presents an intriguing, perhaps challenging, evolved colour and opens up as a delightfully fruity and moreish wine.
Anjou, Domaine Mosse - Chenin Blanc - Loire, 2012
Produced by Agnès and René Mosse who use organic viticulture and biodynamic preparations to treat their vines on a 12 ha estate. This wine is barrel-fermented and aged. Made from young Selection Massale chenin blanc this vintage offers dry apricot and apples with great acidity and a hint of nuttiness in a long finish. Great with oysters. Chenin blanc at its most pure.
L’hurluberlu - Cabernet Franc - Loire, 2013
The grapes for this wine are pressed by foulage on David Sebastien’s 5 ha biodynamic vineyard. Natural yeasts ferment this personality-filled wine which offers pure fruit, spice, slight pine and cheer. Aged in clay amphora by a true wine fanatic, hurluberlu roughly translates as eccentric - a local nickname for the winemaker! No added sulphur, unfiltered and unfined. Drinks beautifully on its own or with terrine.
Cheverny Rosé - Gamay/Pinot Noir - Loire, 2013
Produced by Hervé Villemade, this stunning vintage has already sold out at the estate. Harvested by hand, the organic grapes arrive at the cellars in prime condition for fermentation. The 50:50 gamay/pinot noir blend produces a delightfully fresh and light rosé, perfect for sipping or try with a dry goats’ cheese.
Vouvray Brut Champalou Pétillant Naturel - Chenin - Loire, NV
This estate is one of the most renowned in the appellation and follows lutte raisonnée - literally “reasoned fight” - where chemical treatments are used only when absolutely necessary. Elegant, impeccable balance, highly aromatic and outstanding value. A traditional method wine which easily holds its own.