Looking back though previous reports on Winedoctor I am surprised to see that I have never before cast the spotlight on the 2002 vintage in the Loire Valley. This was, rather akin to 2014, a very good vintage along the length and breadth of the Loire Valley, with the added advantage that there were some very good sweet wines from the Coteaux du Layon, Vouvray and Montlouis appellations as well. By contrast, sweet wines in 2014 will be hard to come by, being small-volume hard-won victories, so this is one way in which the 2002 vintage might be regarded as superior.
Indeed, at the time, the vintage was seen as superior to a great number of vintages in many regions, certainly 2001 and 2000, the latter not emulating the success seen in Bordeaux (despite being able to draw parallels between the two regions in many other successful vintages, including 2005, 2009 and 2010). It will certainly rank higher than 1999 in most Loire-o-philes’ minds (some regions had a really tough time of it that year) and also 1998. In the Loire Valley you have to go back to 1997 to find a wine from Vouvray and Chinon, the region’s premier appellations, that would be worthy of comparison. That was a year when many vignerons, especially those turning out sweet wines such as François Pinon (pictured above), excelled, as described in my Loire 1997 vintage reports.