Loire 2020 First Taste: Anjou & Saumur
As with my report on the wines of the Nantais in 2020, this is a select first ‘bite’ of the vintage. This isn’t that unusual; once you look past the great swathes of Rosé d’Anjou and Cabernet d’Anjou, this is a region dominated by barrel-aged Chenin Blanc both dry and sweet, and the leading red varieties, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Most of these wines are still in élevage, and at this time of year many of the sweet wines have yet to finish their slow and rumbling fermentations (although this year there simply won’t be many sweet wines, as described in my 2020 vintage report).
It is thus rare to find local vignerons pouring significant numbers of barrel samples at this early stage, and even rarer are those willing to ship these samples to Scotland, from one locked-down country to another. So I am grateful to the Papin family of Château Pierre-Bise, Alexandre Cady and family at Domaine Cady, Jean-Hubert Lebreton at Domaine des Rochelles, Paul Pisani-Ferry at Château de Targé and the team at Domaine de Sanzay for sending samples.