Château de la Roche en Loire, 2014 Update
It can only be a couple of years since I first met Louis-Jean Sylvos, but on that first meeting I found true delight in his wines. I think our paths have crossed three or four times since, and these first impressions have turned out to be correct; every time I put a glass of Louis-Jean’s wine to my lips, I know what I am going to get; autumnal apple flavours if it is one of his Chenin Blancs, beautifully tender and yet cleanly defined, with fresh acidity and on occasion a little grip. In his red wines I find, with remarkable consistency, a lovely paradox of dark fruit flavours backed by a savoury, tense, acid-defined substance.
These wines are proof that this Louis-Jean Sylvos (pictured above), a retiree from the world of French fashion, was really born to make wine. They are also proof that to truly understand the wines of the Loire Valley you have to leave behind the grand and easily understood appellations such as Sancerre, Vouvray, Chinon, Saumur-Champigny and Muscadet, and look out into the broader more generic appellations such as Anjou, basic Saumur and the many Touraines, as well as more obscure appellations such as Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny. These regions may not be as carved-up and picked-over as their more famous peers, but this is perhaps a reflection of the human preference for the familiar and the endorsed, because there is no shortage of wines of interest in these less famous appellations. These are regions to be invaded and explored, not circumvented. All Louis-Jean’s wines, by the way, are produced under the Touraine or Touraine Azay-le-Rideau appellations.Please log in to continue reading: