La Tour Saint-Martin, 2014 Update

As readers will no doubt already be aware, I meet up with a lot of Loire Valley winemakers in order to learn about them and (hopefully!) to taste their wines. In most cases I am confronted by a range recent releases and perhaps some older vintages, and quite often I have a fairly firm idea of what I am going to find.

I am not talking about quality, as every new domaine and new vintage has to be assessed with an open mind; it simply isn’t appropriate, for example, to assume the wines at a favourite domaine will be good this year just because the quality was good last year. I can think of a couple of very notable Loire Valley domaines that I think are riding high on a reputation established in the past, but where quality is now very questionable, and I sometimes find myself wondering if I am the only person who has noticed.

La Tour Saint-Martin

No, when I declare that I usually have a fairly firm idea of what I am going to find, I am thinking not of quality but of style. I understand, for example, what distinguishes a Vouvray from a Savennières, and what distinguishes a traditionally-made Savennières from one where there is a more oxidative approach, or one where more wood is involved. I know what features to look for in a Sancerre, or a Muscadet, and I think I could have a decent stab at explaining their differences (and their similarities). Hopefully I manage to get some of this information and understanding across on Winedoctor.

It is uncommon, therefore, that I find a meeting with a winemaker to be revelatory, to come away with a feeling that a veil had been lifted from my eyes, that I had suddenly heard loud and clear the voice of a wine which had previously only spoken to me in a confused whisper. Nevertheless, this happened to me recently, and it was a recent encounter with Bertrand Minchin, of La Tour Saint-Martin, that left me feeling so thoroughly educated.

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