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Domaine de la Taille aux Loups: Tasting & Drinking

Even with my interest in the vineyards of the Loire, the wines of Domaine de la Taille aux Loups came late to my attention. For all the attention François Chidaine received when he branched out from his base – right next-door to Domaine de la Taille aux Loups in Husseau, as it happens – to take possession of some vineyards in Vouvray, one might think that this domaine, which straddles both of these appellations and has done so for many years, had never existed. So it remains, at the time of writing at least, a domaine that lies somewhat under the radar of many wine drinkers, even some of those with a penchant for the Loire Valley (although I sense, during the time I have been following the domaine and periodically updating this profile, that this has changed; I think the domaine is much-better known today than it was one or two decades ago).

I suspect in part this is true of many properties in Montlouis-sur-Loire; this has long been an appellation that has hidden in the shadows cast by its more famous cousin across the river. Even when the wines are of comparable quality to those from other domaines with the Vouvray appellation, many vignerons in Montlouis-sur-Loire have waited too long before receiving the recognition they deserve. Hopefully this injustice will one day come to and end, prompted by the continued renaissance of the appellation, which is largely down to a small band of dedicated vignerons who have pulled it from obscurity.

Jacky Blot (1948 – 2023), of Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, was one such vigneron, a major figure in the appellation. He was much-admired but also occasionally controversial; he was, for example, outspoken in his criticism of the wines made in Vouvray. Whether that was relevant to his being refused a continuation of his derogation to vinify his Vouvray outside the appellation in 2015, I will leave the reader to decide. Regardless of this, there is no doubt that he was one of Touraine’s and indeed the Loire Valley’s most important and highly regarded vignerons, by his peers in the appellation, as well as by consumers, and he will be sadly missed.

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