It’s Tuesday morning, and I am about to head off for my third and final day of tasting at Vinovision. First though, a few words on Monday, and on the salon so far.
There is no doubt in my mind that, from my point of view, this has been a good salon to attend. It feels small in comparison to the Salon des Vins de Loire, despite the fact this salon also takes in Burgundy, Champagne and Alsace (and the Jura too I think). Nevertheless there are hundreds of Loire domaines showing here; I think it feels smaller simply because they are packed in so tightly. Each domaine takes as a minimum a 6m2 space (yes, just 2m x 3m, for your stand, bottles, fridge, tables, chairs and whatever else you wish), which means dozens of domaines can be packed into a small space. And there are lots of high profile names here (some of which I mentioned yesterday), such as Henri Bourgeois and Alphonse Mellot, among others.
Having said that, this salon is a long way from being comprehensive, and yet that is what the Salon des Vins de Loire always offered. Of course, you would never find Clos Rougeard, Philippe Foreau or Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau there, but you would find almost everybody else of significance, and if topped up with visits to the various dependent salons to taste with Richard Leroy and the like a visit to the Salon des Vins de Loire would always give you the most comprehensive look possibale at what the Loire Valley was up to. This salon in Paris, however, falls far short of that, and feels more like a ‘top up’ salon.
That shouldn’t be taken as any indication that I have been short of things to do though. Yesterday I tasted widely, with some good discoveries at domaines with which I was previously unfamiliar. I tasted with Julie Biet (top left) and her father Jean-Marc Biet, who are based in Seigy near the Cher, and who make some really strong red wines from the usual Touraine varieties grown on clay and limestone soils. Another discovery was Albin Roux (top right) of Domaine Roux; he and his father have vines in Quincy and Châteaumeillant, and turn out some attractive wines.
Back on more familiar territory I enjoyed tasting with Jean-Pierre Chevallier (bottom right) of Château de Villeneuve, simply because it was a reminder what a convincing and desirable range of wines he produces, from first cuvée to last, and I remain amazed that his top cuvée Le Grand Clos (or indeed any of his other wines) isn’t chased more by drinkers of good Cabernet Franc. Finally I tasted and talked with Frédéric Brochet (bottom left) of Ampelidae, first to get a low down on his latest wines, but also to learn about his acquisition of the vineyards of Pierre-Jacques Druet, which he purchased last year after Druet went bankrupt, and to find out what plans he has for them. That was an interesting, frank and insightful chat, for sure…….
With one day left as always there is too much I want to cram in for me to have any hope of succeeding, but this is the way of any good tasting trip. Then this evening I will fly back to Edinburgh, and I have a few days of normal life before heading back down to London for a big Muscadet tasting (focusing on older wines, crus communaux, lees-aged wines and so on) for Decanter magazine. I am looking forward to that one…..