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Salon & Renaissance Tastings – Day 3

The final day of the Salon was yesterday, and it provided a hectic but informative round of tasting, touching on Muscadet, Chinon and Montlouis, among others.

Looking at Muscadet first, having already tasted a number of 2010s in London just a few weeks ago the vintage was already shaping up in my mind as a very classic, fresh, clean-lined style, with a good juicy quality to the fruit nicely balanced out on the whole by fresh acidity and good minerality. Pierre-Marie Luneau of Luneau-Papin described the growing season as very similar to 2009, nevertheless the occasional 2009 has disappointed slightly with somewhat fatter textures and les vibrant acid. But sticking with 2010 for the moment, I’ve now augmented my previous experiences with tastings of wines from Jo Landron, Guy Bossard, Marc Ollivier and the Pierre-Marie, and they do match my prior experiences. This is a good vintage for the Muscadet region.

I only touched on Chinon very lightly with the wines of Chateau de Coulaine, rather attractive wines with a nicely defined fruit texture in the mouth, fresh and bright, with a very perfumed, violet-tinged character on the nose. It was Montlouis that I was tasting otherwise, getting to grips with some of the new names in this appellation. Olivier Weisskopf was one, Lise and Bertrand Jousset another; I was particularly struck by the bright, challenging nature of the Jousset wines, a character which is the opposite of Lise’s very charming character which is evident here (shown right), but which reflects their winemaking philosophy. I get the feeling Lise and Bertrand are making wines for themselves, which is the sort of winemaking I could get into! They feel a real sense of disappointment if the residual sugar goes over 4 g/l, although having said that they do make a moelleux alongside their pure, vibrant, crystal-pure dry wines. This is definitely a domaine to pay attention to. I also liked Olivier’s Montlouis wines very much, and he also produces some of the most convincing examples of Touraine reds I have tasted in a long time, from a Cabernet Franc, Gamay and Cot. As Catherine and Didier wind down at Clos Roche Blanche those looking for a replacement could do a lot worse than shop here. These could become cult wines!

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