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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > FRANCE: Loire

Winner Details

FRANCE: Loire


2015: Gold 4 Silver 7 Bronze 7 Commended 11
2014: Gold 3 Silver 10 Bronze 2 Commended 7


The Loire habitually contributes three or four wines to our Gold List every year, but it’s rarely balanced. We tend to get either Sauvignon years or Chenin years. And while this year we did get Golds in a spread of styles (apart from reds, which remain mysteriously under-submitted year after year) the feedback was far more positive for the Chenins and Muscadets than it was for the Sauvignons, which clearly did better in 2012 than 2013.


From the Tasting Teams


‘Take Loire reds straight out of the cellar and serve with some grilled fish, on the terrace. Customers love the crisp, summery combination of flavours.’ Peter Bagatti, Bagattis

‘The cheap Sauvignons were really nasty – actively unpleasant. None of the cheap wines gave me that thrill of racy Sauvignon.’ Donald Edwards, consultant

‘Some Central Loire Sauvignon growers are making more Marlborough styles, with skin contact, then others are making more soil-focused, minerally wines. You need to know your growers and what to expect.’ Michael Harrison, consultant

‘Our New Zealand flight earlier in the day was far better than expected, and the Loire one was the opposite. The sommelier world has been clinging on to France, but if the Loire didn’t exist, would you invent it?’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘We were all over the place with the Sancerres because they were all over the place! There was citrus, tropical and oak coming through. Most people want Sancerre to taste like Sancerre.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘The Chenins were a strong flight, from dry to off-dry and good value for money.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader
‘[The Francis Mabille] would be a good wine for the generic cheese board. It could match blue cheese, goats’ cheese, hard cheese…’ Robert Tozser, The Rib Room

‘There’s a demand for some lower-alcohol wines on the list, things that are no more than 12% alcohol. Muscadet fits nicely into that category.’
Sarah Riddle, Sketch



    Award winners

    Found 29 wines

    France: Loire, inc. Sancerre

    Chéreau Carré, La Griffe, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2013, Loire, France

    Gold medal winner

    Illustrating well the heights good Muscadet can reach, the long mineral, salty finish lifted La Griffe to Gold status. ‘Yellow plums and peachy notes on the nose, citrus youthfulness with good balance on the palate,’ said Oscar Miller of Vinoteca King's Cross, with Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels, adding: ‘Minerality, steely, slatey nose with peach and apricot notes to follow, good weight and mouthfeel.’ Think fresh oysters and green apple mousse.

    £7.98 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

    Boutinot, Domaine Francis Mabille, La Croix Picaussée, Vouvray Demi-Sec 2012, Loire, France

    Gold medal winner

    The poise and balance between the exotic fruits and the salty tang of this well-priced wine propelled this to Gold. Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels was impressed with its ‘beautiful tropical notes’, noting: ‘Pineapple, mango and floral aromas, with ripe mango and pineapple on the palate and lemony acidity to balance', while Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel noted 'honeysuckle, orange, leading to a sweet chamomile finish'. Choose desserts like tarte tatin or goats' cheese.

    £6.50 Boutinot

    Joseph Mellot, La Grande Châtelaine, Cuvée Prestige, Sancerre 2012, Loire, France

    Gold medal winner

    Richness and texture made this a winner. ‘Aromas of ripe apple, pear and citrus. Big but elegant on the palate, with savoury apple notes, toasty oak and flinty minerals,’ said Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place. ‘Soft mouthfeel with rounded tropical fruits,’ added team leader Tom Forrest. 'Match with malt whisky gravadlax,' said Room 24's Michael Moore, while team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW suggested langoustines, brown crab meat and fruits de mer.

    £14.37 Hatch Mansfield

    Joseph Mellot, La Grande Cuvée des Edvins, Cuvée Prestige, Pouilly-Fumé 2013, Loire, France

    Gold medal winner

    A second Gold for Joseph Mellot with this similarly opulent wine. Consultant Sam Caporn MW commented: 'Lovely, different, long and delicious,' while Guillaume Mahaut of The Jugged Hare said: 'Expressive, honeysuckle and yellow plum flavours, complex and very good.' Vanilla scallops with smoky bacon was Michael Moore of Studio 24's food tip this time.

    £14.37 Hatch Mansfield

    Alex Cady, Cheninsolite, Anjou Blanc 2013, Loire, France

    Silver medal winner

    ‘Aromas of wet stones, ripe pear and subtle honey notes, with white stone fruit and some citric minerality on a nice clean palate,’ said Oscar Miller of Vinoteca King's Cross. 'Very expressive, needs decanting,' advised team leader Annette Scarfe MW of this hand-harvested, single vineyard Chenin.

    £11.85 Bancroft Wines

    Cherrier Père et Fils, Sancerre 2013, Loire, France

    Silver medal winner

    ‘Lean and lithe, with notes of grapefruit pith on the nose, this is chalky and particularly stony-mineral in character,’ said Neil Bruce of Studio Alto. ‘Green fruit with gooseberries and some nettle and mineral hints,’ added team leader Tom Forrest.

    £11.47 Berkmann Wine Cellars

    Domaine Sylvain Gaudron, Vouvray Sec 2012, Loire, France

    Silver medal winner

    ‘Mineral notes with grapefruit, melon and peach on the nose, limey acidity and a steely, lingering finish,’ said Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels. ‘Elegant, honeysuckle fruit and floral, dry style,’ added Oscar Miller of Vinoteca King's Cross.

    £10.09 Enotria&Coe

    Joseph Mellot, Les Collinettes, Sancerre 2014, Loire, France

    Silver medal winner

    ‘Grassy, almost Kiwi style, crisp and leesy and rounded,’ said Neil Bruce of Studio Alto, with team leader Tom Forrest adding: ‘Rounded tropical and pear fruit with chalky mineral finish.’

    £11.24 Hatch Mansfield

    Joseph Mellot, Destinéa, Pinot Noir, Val de Loire 2013, Loire, France

    Silver medal winner

    Noting this wine's 'bargain price', Guillaume Kaczmar of L'Ortolan described it as: 'Very soft and open. Easy drinking, simple but very accessible.' 'Pale, slightly under-ripe fruit, good fresh acidity,' said team leader Laura Rhys MS.

    £6.24 Hatch Mansfield

    Domaine de Maltaverne, l'Ammonite, Pouilly-Fumé 2013, Loire, France

    Silver medal winner

    'Unusual ripe tropical fruit, lychee on the nose, long and balanced,' began consultant Sam Caporn MW, with consultant Donald Edwards adding: 'Very appealing, ripe with some herbal notes.'

    £9.85 Boutinot

    Les Grands Presbytères, Tradition, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2013, Loire, France

    Silver medal winner

    ‘Dry and crisp, with lemon, lemon rind and other citrus notes on the nose, and a mineral, salty palate. Good value,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, with Oscar Miller of Vinoteca King's Cross adding: ‘Simple, floral, very fresh with scratched lemon peel notes.’

    £6.00 Boutinot

    J Mourat, Collection, Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay 2013, Loire, France

    Bronze medal winner

    ‘Stone fruit with nice weight, mineral notes and a hint of white peppery spice. Lovely,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, with Oscar Miller of Vinoteca King's Cross adding: ‘Richer style, with banana skin and yellow tropical fruit.’

    £7.50 Bancroft Wines

    Château du Hureau, Tuffe, Saumur-Champigny 2011, Loire, France

    Bronze medal winner

    'Benchmark wine, with smoky, pencil shaving nose,' enthused Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel, recommending beef carpaccio. 'Bright red and dark cherry, good structure with green notes and good tannin, bright acidity,' added team leader Laura Rhys MS.

    £8.22 Justerini & Brooks

    Laporte, Les Duchesses, Pouilly-Fumé 2013, Loire, France

    Bronze medal winner

    ‘Herbaceous overtones with yellow apple and lemon peel fruit with a peach stone finish,’ said Jonathan Kleeman of The Ritz Hotel. ‘Ripe, grassy, plenty of fruit and flesh, but has a flinty edge too,’ added team leader Simon Woods.

    £14.50 Ellis of Richmond, Jascots Wine Merchants

    Laporte, Le Rochoy, Sancerre 2013, Loire, France

    Bronze medal winner

    ‘Light oak notes with a mineral edge on the nose, followed by soft, spicy, tropical fruit flavours on the palate, with some freshening acidity and intensity,’ commented team leader Tom Forrest.

    £15.00 Ellis of Richmond, Jascots Wine Merchants, Roberson Wine Merchants

    La Foliette, 1926 l'Origine, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2013, Loire, France

    Bronze medal winner

    ‘Melon and stone fruit such as apricot, followed by slightly yeasty notes,’ began Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels, adding: ‘Refreshing fruit-driven style with added depth from secondary notes of lees.’

    £6.88 The Flying Corkscrew

    Joseph Mellot, Le Rimonet, Quincy 2014, Loire, France

    Bronze medal winner

    ‘Herbal notes on a greengage nose, with hints of bell pepper and soft acids on the palate,’ began consultant Michael Harrison, with La Petite Maison’s Andrea Fasan adding: ‘Sage, mineral and gooseberries on the nose, and a pure, complex palate.’

    £9.99 Hatch Mansfield

    Domaine du Pré Semelé, Sancerre 2013, Loire, France

    Bronze medal winner

    Neil Bruce of Studio Alto enjoyed the ‘clean, elegant, rounded and unfussy’ style of this wine, while team leader Tom Forrest said: ‘Nice intensity, rounded, with gooseberry and grassy notes and a mineral palate.’

    £10.00 Boutinot

    Domaine Fouassier, Les Chasseignes, Sancerre 2013, Loire , France

    Commended medal winner

    £12.84 Bibendum

    Laporte, Le Bouquet, Sauvignon Blanc, Val de Loire 2013, Loire, France

    Commended medal winner

    Domaine du Haut Perron, Touraine Sauvignon 2013, Loire, France

    Commended medal winner

    Foucher-Lebrun, La Vigne du Bois Joli, Pouilly-Fumé 2013, Loire, France

    Commended medal winner

    Boutinot, Le Fusil de Chasse, Pouilly-Fumé 2013, Loire, France

    Commended medal winner

    £9.65 Boutinot

    Boutinot, La Clochette, Sancerre 2013, Loire , France

    Commended medal winner

    £9.75 Boutinot

    GCF Exclusif, Château du Cléray, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2013, Loire, France

    Commended medal winner

    Joseph Mellot, La Gravelière, Sancerre 2014, Loire, France

    Commended medal winner

    £11.24 Hatch Mansfield

    Domaine de Pierre, Sauvignon de Touraine 2013, Loire, France

    Commended medal winner

    £7.99 Enotria&Coe

    Michel Girard, Silex, Sancerre 2013, Loire , France

    Commended medal winner

    £10.75 Boutinot

    Domaine Pellé, Le Silex du Carroir, Menetou-Salon Morogues 2013, Loire , France

    Commended medal winner

    £12.25 Boutinot

     

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