After 5 days of beating up my liver in London and thus forgetting everything I'd want to share about the wines (and tequila and Pimm's and beers and ciders) I had, I have made my way to the Loire for a proper wine tour. My friends, Jen and Laura, have joined me despite acknowledging their hatred of French wine. In fact, I'm not sure why they decided to join me, but I'm happy they're here.
Today we made our way to three wineries - Domaine Huet, Les Caves de Loires and Maison Bredif. Huet was the vineyard I was most excited about and our first stop of the day. I've had their sparkling wine from their Clos Du Bourg vineyard and have really enjoyed it. Today we tried sparkling and still wines from their three vineyards - Clos Du Bourg, Le Haut-Lieu and Le Mont. Of the three, Le Haut-Lieu was my favorite. The wines under the Haut-Lieu labels tended to be a bit simpler but with a really smooth and velvety mouth feel. Really lovely. Then again, I always find it hard to like the most complex wines during straight tastings without any food. Ahh, the tough life of a self-professed wine snob.....
After Domaine Huet, we made our way to Les Caves de Loires, a collective of several vineyards in the area. 90% of their wine is sparkling and almost all of it is from the Chenin Blanc grape. And before I move on to share what I really thought, my friend, Laura, tells me that I must share the one factoid she remembers that there is a guy who works there who turns 42,000 bottles of champagne a day. Laura and Jen now believe this to be my career calling.
As for me, this was my least favorite visit of the day because they not only made us wait 40 minutes for the tour, but I also found the tasting to be mediocre and the guide to be, well, typically French in her approach towards non-French tourists. Plus, I didn't really like the tasting. They had a nice Late Harvest dessert wine, but otherwise, it didn't sooth the savage snob.
From there, we were going to take our exhausted selves back to the hotel, but we had one more taste in us and we ended up at Maison Bredif, which was excellent. They have vines outside of Vouvray so they do more than just Chenin Blanc. As much as I love Chenin, it's nic to try other things! Though my favorite of theirs was their 2009 Vouvray (we grabbed a bottle that we ended up kicking at dinner) and their Nectar (a late harvest Chenin - one of my favorite ways to enjoy Chenin). Moreover, the guy in the tasting room was knowledgable and helpful. Jen also found him attractive though Laura found his ongoing ass scratching to be a bit disturbing. All in all, though, it was a great way to rebound from Les Caves de Loire.
Earlier tonight we started planning for tomorrow's trips and we're thinking a Chateau, some tastings and ideally some walking....After tonight's dinner of bread, cheese, wine and salami (my favorite French dinner), we're going to need to find some activity that involves more than just minor bicep curls.
Until the next sniff, sip or quaff,