Charles Sydney Breakfast Tasting 2009 Part 2

Having started with Muscadet and Anjou-Saumur in part one, I continue here with my notes from Charles Sydney’s Breakfast Tasting, which was held on the first morning of the 2009 Salon de Vins de Loire, now moving onto the wines of Touraine and the Central Vineyards.

Although 2008 was very difficult for the Nantais vignerons, there was less trouble upstream. The Sauvignon Blancs of Touraine were harvested at a more typical 40-50 hl/ha, whereas in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé yields were down a little. But potential is high, as is the case with the dry and off-dry Chenins. As far as the sweet wines are concerned, however, it was unfortunate that as the botrytis appeared and the grapes began to dehydrate, the rains arrived, reducing the chances of making moelleux to rival the dry and demi-sec wines. Having said that I tasted too few wines to develop a strong view of the vintage, and indeed subsequent tastings during the Salon proper revealed some delicious wines in the 2008 vintage, from the likes of Jacky Blot (pictured below) and especially Huet. These are, of course, leading growers, so this may illustrate nothing more than the wisdom of following the best estates even in lesser vintages.

Charles Sydney Breakfast Tasting

The red wines followed the theme which I introduced in part one, largely being of the 2007 vintage, and largely being lesser wines. This is a vintage where I would advise caution when buying. It is surely significant that the two most memorable red wines here were the Première Vendanges Gamay from Henri Marionnet and the Clos de l’Echo from Couly-Dutheil, representatives of the 2008 and 2005 vintages respectively, which eclipsed with ease their 2007 peers.

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