What would your classification of Loire reds be?

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Julian Marshall
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What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#1 Post by Julian Marshall » January 20th, 2020, 8:20 am

There has never been a classification of Loire wines and there probably never will be, which is just as well for our wallets. I chose reds, rather than whites, because I'm increasingly turning to them as an alternative to Bordeaux, but we could of course have the same chat about whites in another thread. Many of you have far more experience of reds than me, so I'm curious to have your views. Just to start the ball rolling, this would be my (tentative) classification:

First Growth

Clos Rougeard (Saumur-C)

Second Growths

Joguet, Baudry, Olga Raffault (top QPR), Plouzeau (Touraine - just on the basis of the Ante Phyll cuvée), D. du Collier (Saumur-C), C et P Breton (Bourgueil),

Third Growths

Alliet, Couly-Dutheil, Thierry Germain (Saumur-C), P et R Gauthier (Bourgueil), A. Sanzay (Saumur-C), Filliatreau (Saumur-C), Lenoir - Les Roches, Coulaine.

Fourth Growths

Jacky Blot (Bourgueil), Chevalerie (Bourgueil), Hureau (Saumur-C), Villeneuve (Saumur C), Yvonne (Saumur-C), Fosse-Sèche (Saumur), Guion (Bourgueil) Yannick Amirault (Bourgueil), Guiberteau (Saumur), Fabien Duveau (Saumur-C).

Fifth Growths

Domaine des Chesnaies (Bourgueil), F. Mabileau (St.Nicolas de B), Les Chesnaies – Le Puits Danaé, Dom. de Noiré, Dom. de la Cotelleraie (St.Nicolas de B), Pallus, Clau de Nell (Anjou)

All the unspecified ones are Chinons.

Please feel free to disagree or to shoot me down, please change as you wish and add your own ideas!
Last edited by Julian Marshall on January 28th, 2020, 9:01 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#2 Post by Robert Sand » January 20th, 2020, 8:23 am

I´ve never cared much about Loire reds - too green for me.
Even Clos Rougeard tasted twice didn´t move me at all, much better wine in Bordeaux right bank - at lower prices.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#3 Post by Troy Stark » January 20th, 2020, 8:32 am

Where would you place Antoine Sanzay? Personal favorite of ours.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#4 Post by Glen Gold » January 20th, 2020, 8:35 am

Based on their Eolithe and Pigeonnier cuvées I'd toss Chateau de Fosse-Seche (Saumur) somewhere in there around 4th growth, maybe higher depending on on how they age.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#5 Post by Julian Marshall » January 20th, 2020, 8:39 am

Robert - each to their own! I stopped buying RBs (well, especially St.Emilions) when their taste changed to something I didn't like.

Troy - no idea, I've never tried his wines - what do you think compared to the others?

Glen - never tried that either, great idea!

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#6 Post by Ramon C » January 20th, 2020, 8:50 am

Plenty of names there that I should be looking for and drinking, given that I like Loire wines.
I also believe that there is still a much wider difference between Rougeard and the names in the 2nd Growths than in Bordeaux.

In any case, I'd up Olga Raffault one notch and add Filliatreau somewhere in the 3rd/4th.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#7 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 20th, 2020, 9:06 am

Rougeard is like d’Yquem, a class unto itself.

Raffault has to be a Second Growth. IMHO, it has been producing more consistent wines, and some legendary ones like 1989 and 1990, more than Joguet has. Baudry is the Second Growth stalwart, such a range, such quality and consistent across the spectrum.

I would likely put Plouzeau Franc de Pied up there as a Second Growth. It is as good as Chinon gets, especially since 2009.

Filliatreau definitely in Third. Good stuff.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#8 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 20th, 2020, 9:09 am

Robert Sand wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 8:23 am
I´ve never cared much about Loire reds - too green for me.
Even Clos Rougeard tasted twice didn´t move me at all, much better wine in Bordeaux right bank - at lower prices.
Well that was helpful to the OP. ;)

So when you say right bank, do you mean St Em, Pomerol or both? Those with a Loire palate, like Julian and myself, will say St Em is a bloody ripe modernist disaster. Love me sum Pomerols, however!
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#9 Post by Thomas De Waen » January 20th, 2020, 9:17 am

Lenoir in Chinon has become quite a thing in the natural wine scene in France - never tried it though so can't judge.

Never had red Vatan but it goes for big prices.

Otherwise your list looks good. Remains to be seen whether Clos Rougeard will remain what it was now that the Foucaults are no longer involved.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#10 Post by joz€f p1nxten » January 20th, 2020, 9:34 am

Since when would you say that Joguet is up there in second tier?

I have a few cases of Thierry Germain in the cellar - consider a more polished version of cab franc than some others on the list, but well made
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#11 Post by William Kelley » January 20th, 2020, 9:38 am

Thomas De Waen wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:17 am
Lenoir in Chinon has become quite a thing in the natural wine scene in France - never tried it though so can't judge.
Can be really great, but my last experience was three consecutive corked bottles of the 1989 in one night [head-bang.gif]
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#12 Post by Thomas De Waen » January 20th, 2020, 9:55 am

joz€f p1nxten wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:34 am
Since when would you say that Joguet is up there in second tier?

Chris Kissack / The Wine Doctor has them at the top tier according to his scoring... probably last 3-4 years.

My experience with old Joguet (pre-Charles Joguet retirement... so probably 1996 and before) is also fabulous. Where it gets a bit more iffy is probably 1997-2013 or so, though obviously very subjective...

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#13 Post by Ramon C » January 20th, 2020, 12:04 pm

Domaine Guion. Unclassified, a la Sociando Mallet?
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#14 Post by NoahR » January 20th, 2020, 12:14 pm

+1 for upping Plouzeau to 2nd growth, if not first.

I don’t know if I believe Rougeard is so much better than its siblings, despite its being priced that way but I’ve had not tasted it twice. A bit like Le Pin or Petrus - self-perpetuating hype.

Guion and Sanzay should be in the mix as well as Couly-Dutheuil. A lot of very good and honestly very similar wines out there for good value.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#15 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 20th, 2020, 12:28 pm

I’m sure there are some folks that have had tons more than me, but I’ve had maybe 20 or so of the Rougeard Les Clos and Les Pouyeaux from 2002, 03, 05, 07, 09 and 11. Some in comparative tastings with some killer mature Chinons, including 79, 89 and 90 Raffault, 90 Joguet Dioterie, 85 Lenoir. Rougeard is a cut above. I think Plouzeau Franc de Pied is way up there, especially in 2010, but still not same level. Only Chinon that is out at that level was the 2005 Joguet Franc de Pied.

Incidentally, I am sitting on several vintages of Le Bourg, but I’ve never tried one.

I am out now. Lost my allocation during this period of hype, and prices are crazy in the grey market.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#16 Post by Rob_S » January 20th, 2020, 12:30 pm

I'd personally put Germain / Domaine des Roches Neuves in the 3è as well.

What about Domaine Guiberteau?
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#17 Post by Dale Williams » January 20th, 2020, 12:33 pm

I think Rougeard is currently over priced, but still a step above anything else.
I love whites from Vatan and both Cotats, but have never been really convinced by their rouge (now Cotat rose on other hand)
I guess CRB can't be included as defunct

So for me, sticking to producers I've had multiple times
First Growth

Clos Rougeard

Second Growths
Joguet, Baudry

Third Growths
Filliatreau ,C et P Breton, Olga Raffault, Thierry Germain Alliet

Fourth Growths
Yannick Amirault , Plouzeau ,,Jacky Blot, Coulaine, , Hureau , Yvonne

Fifth Growths
Domaine des Chesnaies ,Couly-Dutheil ,Guion
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#18 Post by Glen Gold » January 20th, 2020, 12:38 pm

For what it's worth, if you happen to find yourself at Post Ranch Inn, their restaurant has verticals and horizontals of Rougeard at prices that are currently a little below retail. The issue is of course that you have to balance that against how much your room cost : )

Last time we stayed, we had a 2009 Les Poyeaux. I have learned not to bloviate to my girlfriend about what we're drinking (too many Burg let downs). So she went in blind and thought it was one of the best wines she's had in the last year.

But really, try the Eolithe. For $25 or so, it's a real stand out.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#19 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 20th, 2020, 12:52 pm

Eolithe is excellent, and pardon the pun, a lithe little red-fruited beauty. Not profound, just right for what it is.

I struggle with Germain. Some killer vintages, and some wines, pretty excellent, while others a let down. I need more time to truly experience their recent old vine acquisitions and new bottlings. These could move it up to Second Growth in time.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#20 Post by Russell Faulkner » January 20th, 2020, 12:56 pm

Eolithe is widely available here. What vintage should I buy? Prices vary a bit but not much back to 2010.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#21 Post by Lee Short » January 20th, 2020, 1:29 pm

I'm not really one for heirarchies, but I have a hard time arguing with the consensus here.

There's a major omission in Pierre-Jacques Druet, deserving of "Second Growth" status, IMO. At least the wines before the recent sale, I'm unsure what is happening with the domaine moving forward.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#22 Post by Howard Cooper » January 20th, 2020, 1:33 pm

Producers like Baudry, Breton and Joguet (and probably have a number of others) have a number of vineyard sites where the wines can vary a great deal. Does the idea of one rating for these estates (more a Bordeaux-like model) make sense for these wines or are they more like Burgundy where one site may be a villages wine type level and another a premier cru. For example, with Baudry does it make sense to classify Les Granges at the same level as Le Clos Guillot or La Croix Boissée. Or, with Joguet, when you are classifying him, are you looking at Clos du Chêne Vert or Clos de la Dioterie or are you looking at his other wines?
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#23 Post by Markus S » January 20th, 2020, 5:31 pm

Thomas De Waen wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:55 am
joz€f p1nxten wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:34 am
Since when would you say that Joguet is up there in second tier?

Chris Kissack / The Wine Doctor has them at the top tier according to his scoring... probably last 3-4 years.

My experience with old Joguet (pre-Charles Joguet retirement... so probably 1996 and before) is also fabulous. Where it gets a bit more iffy is probably 1997-2013 or so, though obviously very subjective...
I know about the iffy 90's, but from 2003+ what I tasted from Joguet was on an upward trajectory.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#24 Post by NoahR » January 20th, 2020, 6:42 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 1:33 pm
Producers like Baudry, Breton and Joguet (and probably have a number of others) have a number of vineyard sites where the wines can vary a great deal. Does the idea of one rating for these estates (more a Bordeaux-like model) make sense for these wines or are they more like Burgundy where one site may be a villages wine type level and another a premier cru. For example, with Baudry does it make sense to classify Les Granges at the same level as Le Clos Guillot or La Croix Boissée. Or, with Joguet, when you are classifying him, are you looking at Clos du Chêne Vert or Clos de la Dioterie or are you looking at his other wines?
Great point, with no easy answer. Never one to discount terroir, only a few people make Les Picasses, and no one else makes Chene Vert, but Sanzay and Rougeard both make Poyeaux. Maybe a comparison there to Burgundy. Lots of folks make Echezraux, but there’s a pecking order, justified or not. And in Bordeaux,no one is judging Latour on Les Forts, but the idea of terroir is malarkey when an estate can buy up any land in their appellation and call it the equivalent of their grand vin estate.

What do you think?
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#25 Post by Julian Marshall » January 21st, 2020, 1:15 am

Thanks for all the input, all very interesting! Lots of great suggestions. Howard makes a good point - when I was thinking about the idea of a "classification", the basis was whichever wine, or wines, is, are or were the producer's best. For example, for obvious reasons FDP cuvées come and go. Likewise, a producer such as O.Raffault's best wine has been Les Picasses, but in the future, I suspect it will probably be La Singulière. Over time producers come and go, there are personnel changes, plus the usual peaks and troughs according to the weather. So it's a sort of "average" performance of the best wines, between some unfixed date in the past to nowadays.

Pierre-Jacques Druet - I left him out on purpose, because his domain is a was and the new owner hasn't yet shown signs of really getting it going again. The older Druet wines I have tasted have been hit or miss, either very good indeed or very indifferent. The best would certainly put it into the second growth level, but nothing I have tried since Ampelidae took it over have come close.

Couly-Dutheil - this is one of the few I can actually claim to "know" well, having tasted a large number of wines and vintages. Before the style change in around 2005, I would definitely class the wines as being on the same level as the best second growths; since then I think the jury is still out.

Domaine du Collier - Antoine Foucault - this is one producer I left out on purpose, expecting someone to mention him. Over here, in terms of reputation and price, he would certainly be second growth. I've never tried his wines - have any of you?

Lenoir - Les Roches - Chinon - mentioned but not really pushed - I have never tried this either, which also sells for high prices. Is it really good or not?

Sorry, bit of editing, I forgot some suggestions:

Antoine Sanzay - how do his wines compare to the other top producers?

Filliatreau - I hadn't tried enough to suggest this domain (only the 2014 and 2015), but definitely agree it's top quality.

Fosse-Sèche, Guion - they sound very interesting indeed and well worthy of putting in somewhere.

All this is just a bit of fun and chinwag, of course!

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#26 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 21st, 2020, 1:56 am

Personally, I would have Breton above Alliet. Wide range of cuvees, some standouts, and long track record for quality and longevity. Plus, one of the few producers making a Franc de Pied.

Breton historically would be a Second, but could be a Third, no way is it a Fourth.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#27 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 21st, 2020, 1:57 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 1:15 am
Likewise, a producer such as O.Raffault's best wine has been Les Picasses, but in the future, I suspect it will probably be La Singulière.
Curious why you say that.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#28 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 21st, 2020, 2:05 am

Rob_S wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 12:30 pm

What about Domaine Guiberteau?
Expensive and has yet to wow me enough to justify continue buying. Tried 5x different vintages and gave up.

Better than some on the posts above, but the price is a turn-off.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#29 Post by Julian Marshall » January 21st, 2020, 2:17 am

Alliet - yes, that's interesting - I've been dipping into older vintages of Coteau de Noiré: 08, 04 and last night, 03. I'm not completely convinced yet - I put Alliet high up based on price and reputation here, but perhaps Third would be more fair.

Breton - you know better than me so why not a Third.

Guiberteau - I've never tried it and I agree it's expensive - maybe a Fourth?

O.Raffault - well, La Singulière has become their top cuvée - I've only tried the 2012, which was very good but obviously young, so I wrote "suspect" because it looks likely to be well-received in the future, but of course this is just speculation.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#30 Post by Morten Båtbukt » January 21st, 2020, 2:53 am

Nobody mentioned Clau de Nell. The importer stopped bringing it in here, but I’ve had a few 2010s that I bought at a sale and left in the cellar for a few years and really liked them. Not the most complex,but lovely evolved wines with very good drinkability.

What are your thoughts?

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#31 Post by joz€f p1nxten » January 21st, 2020, 4:08 am

Thomas De Waen wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:55 am
joz€f p1nxten wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:34 am
Since when would you say that Joguet is up there in second tier?

Chris Kissack / The Wine Doctor has them at the top tier according to his scoring... probably last 3-4 years.

My experience with old Joguet (pre-Charles Joguet retirement... so probably 1996 and before) is also fabulous. Where it gets a bit more iffy is probably 1997-2013 or so, though obviously very subjective...
Bought some from 2013 from the estate - only one I could find cheaply without hassle. Not a great vintage, but will give it a try.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#32 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 21st, 2020, 4:14 am

Markus S wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 5:31 pm
Thomas De Waen wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:55 am
joz€f p1nxten wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 9:34 am
Since when would you say that Joguet is up there in second tier?

Chris Kissack / The Wine Doctor has them at the top tier according to his scoring... probably last 3-4 years.

My experience with old Joguet (pre-Charles Joguet retirement... so probably 1996 and before) is also fabulous. Where it gets a bit more iffy is probably 1997-2013 or so, though obviously very subjective...
I know about the iffy 90's, but from 2003+ what I tasted from Joguet was on an upward trajectory.
This. Especially 2005, where Joguet knocked it out of the park. I also really like 07, 09 and 10. My fave cuvees tend to be Dioterie and Chene Vert, but it can be vintage-specific. The 2005 Franc de Pied was off the charts outstanding, while 04 and 07 were damn fine as well.

I have a smattering of 95s and 96s that I need to start dipping into more, but last I had was really good. The 1990 Dioterie was outstanding last time I had it.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#33 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » January 21st, 2020, 4:28 am

Morten Båtbukt wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 2:53 am
Nobody mentioned Clau de Nell. The importer stopped bringing it in here, but I’ve had a few 2010s that I bought at a sale and left in the cellar for a few years and really liked them. Not the most complex,but lovely evolved wines with very good drinkability.

What are your thoughts?
I have had a few bottles. Too glossy.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#34 Post by Nathan V. » January 21st, 2020, 4:32 am

These lists seem to be about red wines. Whites would have a different order with some of the same names. Also, the Loire is a huge and heterogeneous wine growing region. It is about 200 miles from Nantes to Sancerre.

Rougeard is at the top of the list; however, Nady has left because of differences with the new owners about the style of the wine. For now, they are still with their current US importer but I expect that could change although I don't have any inside information. 2013s were about the same price to me as 2012 (I get them through official channels) but we'll see about the 2014s (I'm not optimistic).

I think that Baudry* is as close in quality to Rougeard** as any other producer out there. The vintage to vintage consistency over the last 12-15 years has been really impressive (one of the reasons for Rougeard's fame is how consistently excellent the wines are). Particularly comparing the Poyeux and the Croix-Boissée blind they have been indistinguishable in quality just different in expression (as one would expect). There is nothing quite like the Bourg, though as the vines age in Croix-Boissée and the new massale plantings come on line, I expect that this will be widely considered as one of the finest vineyard sites in the Loire.

*I'm not exactly objective about Baudry wines. I've been visiting the domain for 20 years and consider Matthieu a friend.

** I've been fortunate enough to drink lots of Rougeard and have visited the domain several times.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#35 Post by Julian Marshall » January 21st, 2020, 4:37 am

Clau de Nell - that's another interesting idea. Never tried it yet and perhaps one would need to see how the wines will be post-Anne Leflaive.

Joguet - It took me a while, but after tasting a lot of older vintages I'm in no doubt as to the quality. The Varennes 02 and 03 tasted recently were stunning, likewise the Chêne Vert 02. There's a sense of nobility which I haven't found in the Alliets, for example.

Thierry Germain (Les Roches Neuves) - the fresh intensity of the fruit is very impressive but I'm not sure yet that the wines are better than Third.

Yannick Amirault - I'm intrigued that nobody has commented on these wines. I've tasted a lot of them in the last two years and have been really impressed. My only quibble would be the lack of a clear hierarchy of the wines. This is just me, but I prefer it to be more obvious which is supposed to be the best! The tippy-top one seems to be the one I have yet to try, Pavillon du Grand Clos, produced only in certain years, from vines near the house and in very small quantities.

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#36 Post by Howard Cooper » January 21st, 2020, 4:49 am

Nathan V. wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:32 am
These lists seem to be about red wines. Whites would have a different order with some of the same names. Also, the Loire is a huge and heterogeneous wine growing region. It is about 200 miles from Nantes to Sancerre.
It actually is much narrower than red Loire wines. It really is wines from Cabernet Franc. Don't see any listing of any producers of say Pinot Noir from Sancere.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#37 Post by Howard Cooper » January 21st, 2020, 4:51 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:37 am
Clau de Nell - that's another interesting idea. Never tried it yet and perhaps one would need to see how the wines will be post-Anne Leflaive.

I bought a bottle of this to try. I was going to drink it young to see if I wanted to buy more. But, when Anne Leflaive died, I decided to hold the wine to maturity (whenever that is) because it became (at least for me) more of a treasure. So, I have not tasted this yet.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#38 Post by Howard Cooper » January 21st, 2020, 4:53 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 2:05 am
Rob_S wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 12:30 pm

What about Domaine Guiberteau?
Expensive and has yet to wow me enough to justify continue buying. Tried 5x different vintages and gave up.

Better than some on the posts above, but the price is a turn-off.
While price and QPR should and obviously do impact buying decisions, should they impact classification? Would you leave off Latour, Lafite, Margaux, Mouton and Haut Brion as first growths and replace them with Sociando Mallet and Cantemerle based on price?
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#39 Post by Howard Cooper » January 21st, 2020, 4:56 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 1:15 am


Fosse-Sèche, Guion - they sound very interesting indeed and well worthy of putting in somewhere.
Tasted their 14 and 15 reds and whites at Weygandt Wines a couple of years ago (Weygandt-Metzler is the importer into the US for these wines) and was very impressed. Looking forward to when the reds mature.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#40 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 21st, 2020, 5:08 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:53 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 2:05 am
Rob_S wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 12:30 pm

What about Domaine Guiberteau?
Expensive and has yet to wow me enough to justify continue buying. Tried 5x different vintages and gave up.

Better than some on the posts above, but the price is a turn-off.
While price and QPR should and obviously do impact buying decisions, should they impact classification? Would you leave off Latour, Lafite, Margaux, Mouton and Haut Brion as first growths and replace them with Sociando Mallet and Cantemerle based on price?
An interesting conundrum, eh? Price was a factor in the 1855 Classification.

A pure classification should of course be prepared irrespective of price. It should be about the vineyard, terroir and the house style, coupled with quality, complexity, consistency and longevity. As a practical matter for us normal people, price is a factor.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#41 Post by Nathan V. » January 21st, 2020, 5:11 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 5:08 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:53 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 2:05 am


Expensive and has yet to wow me enough to justify continue buying. Tried 5x different vintages and gave up.

Better than some on the posts above, but the price is a turn-off.
While price and QPR should and obviously do impact buying decisions, should they impact classification? Would you leave off Latour, Lafite, Margaux, Mouton and Haut Brion as first growths and replace them with Sociando Mallet and Cantemerle based on price?
An interesting conundrum, eh? Price was a factor in the 1855 Classification.

A pure classification should of course be prepared irrespective of price. It should be about the vineyard, terroir and the house style, coupled with quality, complexity, consistency and longevity. As a practical matter for us normal people, price is a factor.
IIRC, price was the factor in the 1855 classification. Sort of full force (neo?) classical economics: all the information was out there so the price reflected the quality.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#42 Post by Howard Cooper » January 21st, 2020, 5:13 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 5:08 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:53 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 2:05 am


Expensive and has yet to wow me enough to justify continue buying. Tried 5x different vintages and gave up.

Better than some on the posts above, but the price is a turn-off.
While price and QPR should and obviously do impact buying decisions, should they impact classification? Would you leave off Latour, Lafite, Margaux, Mouton and Haut Brion as first growths and replace them with Sociando Mallet and Cantemerle based on price?
An interesting conundrum, eh? Price was a factor in the 1855 Classification.

A pure classification should of course be prepared irrespective of price. It should be about the vineyard, terroir and the house style, coupled with quality, complexity, consistency and longevity. As a practical matter for us normal people, price is a factor.
But, this was in the opposite direction of what you suggested.
Howard

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#43 Post by Markus S » January 21st, 2020, 5:21 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 2:17 am
Guiberteau - I've never tried it and I agree it's expensive - maybe a Fourth?
For reds, maybe, but if this included whites I would raise them to 1st or 2nd.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#44 Post by Julian Marshall » January 21st, 2020, 5:30 am

Markus - Re Guiberteau - yes, this is just a chat about reds. We could start one about whites?

Howard - you're absolutely right that Pinot Noir wines are not included, like other reds. Frankly, I know nothing about any top-notch PNs from the Loire. Which ones would be worth putting in?

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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#45 Post by Nathan V. » January 21st, 2020, 6:08 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 5:30 am
Markus - Re Guiberteau - yes, this is just a chat about reds. We could start one about whites?

Howard - you're absolutely right that Pinot Noir wines are not included, like other reds. Frankly, I know nothing about any top-notch PNs from the Loire. Which ones would be worth putting in?
Other red wines of interest that are at or above the quality level of pinot noir from Sancerre:
Côt (malbec) and gamay from the Touraine.
Pineau d'aunis from the Coteaux du Loir.
Emerging Nantais reds.
Gamay from the Côte Roannaise.

That being said, with a couple of exceptions, the best red wines come from Saumur, Chinon and Bourgeuil, IMO+E.

I've been on a white Loire binge for the last two years. I agree that Guiberteau whites are really good.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#46 Post by Troy Stark » January 21st, 2020, 7:18 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 1:15 am
Antoine Sanzay - how do his wines compare to the other top producers?
Since I first mentioned Sanzay in the thread, I'll give my perspective. Admittedly, I haven't tried all of the producers mentioned in this thread, nor is my sampling of Sanzay's wines particularly broad (a few different vintages and cuvees), but every single wine I've had from him shows mastery of the varietal. The fruit is incredibly pure and bright with a perfect balance of acidity and just enough pyrazine to let you know is Cab Franc without being overbearing. The base Saumur Champigny is raised in concrete, so no oak influence at all. This is a small, organically farmed domain, but I really like the style of the wines.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#47 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 21st, 2020, 7:27 am

Julian -

I’m a fan of Amirault. Solid wines, excellent QPR. Like Filliatrau maybe a smidge better.
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#48 Post by Troy Stark » January 21st, 2020, 7:31 am

I was just poking around for more info on Sanzay and came across this (marketing) post by Ian Cauble. Yes, he's trying to sell the wines to his subscribers, but I think the information and description of the wines is spot on; https://www.sommselect.com/?product=ant ... -champigny
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#49 Post by Alan Rath » January 21st, 2020, 8:32 am

Glen Gold wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 12:38 pm
For what it's worth, if you happen to find yourself at Post Ranch Inn, their restaurant has verticals and horizontals of Rougeard at prices that are currently a little below retail. The issue is of course that you have to balance that against how much your room cost : )
I just assumed, based on their room prices, that a bottle of Rougeard was the little "welcome gift" you find in the room when you check in ;)
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Re: What would your classification of Loire reds be?

#50 Post by Alan Rath » January 21st, 2020, 8:35 am

I can think of no other region where one producer (Rougeard) stands so far above all the others. Damn Yankees? Damn Rougeard.
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