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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Centenary Sweet Wine beside Loire River

   After all the greatest dry white wines in loire, le us introduce you some really extraordinary sweet wines in loire.

    Just like the title said, The oldest noble rot wine can keep up to 100 years in loire! 

    The soil of Anjou appellation is typical dark schist. Meanwhile, in the appellations like Touraine, Vouvray and Montlouis, the vine are planted in the white limestone soil, named as “chalk”, the grand chateau at two sides of Loire valley are constructed by this kind of rock. In these regions, the white dry wine and high quality of sweet wine are well known all around the world.

    Botrytis cinerea for noble rot wine needs a special condition - both geographical and climatical: First of all it needs a river near the vineyard to insure the humidity in the morning and sunny in the afternoon in the period of October and November. With this kind of climate, this fungus will be well developed. In the Loire Valley, especially in Anjou, the condition is just perfect.

    The varietal - Chenin Blanc is ideal to making a noble rot wine, even with the over maturing, it guards its own acidity, and it combines with sugar to obtain the best condition to keep the wine.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

What did you drink for new years eve?

Here are a few tips that will help your wallet!

Champagne is usually first choice on New Years Eve, however your budget can easily be squashed.
Good Job The Loire Valley Spectator is here to save the day and help you out on choosing the perfect sparkling wine. Look at the good price quality-ratio!! These wines are very easy to drink but you can serve its for celebration meals! Enjoys its!


Overlooking the Loire River, Château Moncontour stands on a hillside in the heart of the Vouvray.
The site offers a remarkable view of the entire Loire Valley.

Since 1994, with passion and commitment, Feray family has preserved and embellish the castle to be a remarkable historical site of the Loire Valley.

The vineyard, one of the oldest in Touraine, is now ranked among the most prestigious Loire Valley wineries.

Tasting notes from a similar appellation on the video bellow :

Price : 4.80 Euros 


The Tête de Cuvée comes from the Appellation area Montlouis sur Loire whose vineyard lies on a plateau of limestone. This soil, this wine has clay nervousness, silica elegance finesse, and limestone for the roundness and depth.

This wine is made from a single grape variety, Chenin Blanc, also called Pineau de la Loire.

The wine was developed by traditional method: the alcoholic fermentation at low temperature by thermoregulation, a second fermentation conducted for a minimum of 18 months in our cellars in limestone; riddling, disgorging a prepared ice.

Price : 5.85 euros 

THIRD STOP: VOUVRAY, Domaine Huet, Cuvée Brut

Tasting notes :
Aromatic palate : Vouvray Mousseux is a sparkling wine produced in the méthode traditionnelle, where the second fermentation in bottle is started by adding a liqueur de tirage comprised of yeast and sugar at bottling. This offering is a popular Brut-level sparkler crafted from Chenin blanc berries. On the palate, the wine shows ample substance amidst fine effervescence and the minerality of Chenin.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Domaine Bourillon Dorléans


     Domaine Bourillon Dorléans was founded by Gaston Dorléans in 1921. It has 26 hectares of vineyards and located on the best  Rochecorbon. For three generations, the family is working to perpetuate the traditional way and the quality of Vouvray wines with its own personalities, which is aging at an ideal temperature in cellars from the 15th century. This cellars is on of the most beautiful cellar in Touraine, you can see there are some pictures of this cellar below:

     Today with its reputation in the world, Domaine Bourillon Dorléans exports 65% of its sales abroad (Europe, Asia, Australia, America).


        All the 26 hectares of the vineyards witch lies on the terroir of Vouvray belongs only one varietal: Chenin. It has 30% of old vines, 60% of vines between 10 and 25 years, and 10% young vines that bloom on a field of clay-limestone and siliceous in nature. The owner cultivate the vines with full of respect of nature, witch ensures the production of optimum and consistent quality. They use the branches to the ground instead of chemical fertilizers, in order to do the rational control. What's more, they are reducing the yields to optimize the aromatic richness of wines.


     Domaine Bourillon Dorléans produces 120 000 bottles per year, for a yield of 45 hectoliters per hectare. 30% of the Harvest is manual. Fermentation with natural yeasts, the wines are aged in stainless steel tanks or barrels. The general assembly meets the typicality of wines from Domaine and the consumer found behind each wine the same spirit.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Touraine District

      Touraine is not only an appellation, but also a big district that covers several appellations in the center of Loire. Today we are going to talk about the information about the district, we will show you more details about some important white wine appellations and three famous red wine appellations which are based on 100% Cabernet Franc next time.


      The beginning of the development of the Touraine vineyard can be dated back to the foundation of the Marmoutier monastery by Saint Martin in 372. Thanks for the location nearby Loire River, thier wines can be transported to other countries. This development reached at its summit during the 19th century. At that time, Touraine was one of the most important and popular white wine in Europe and North America. Unfortunately, a large number of vineyards have been destroyed during the Second World War, wine makers replanted the vine after, and started to focus on the quality rather than the quantity.  


      Touraine district is located 226km from the Atlantic Ocean, almost the same distance from the northern Massif Central hills of France. This big district is named after a beautiful city: Tours. Which is in the center of the whole region. There are lots of marvelous royal château in this district, such as Chenonceau, Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Blois, Chambord…

Surface Area: 5,500 hectares / 13,590 acres

Climate and geography:

      The principal climate of Touraine is continental climate with some maritime influence from the Atlantic Ocean. The vintage is influenced by the variation of temprature, in the common vintage, most of grapes are used to produce still wine, but when the temperature is much cooler, wine maker will shift to the sparkling wine, on the other hand, when the temprature is warmer, they prefer to produce sweet, dessert style wine.


      The soil in Touraine is exceedingly varied: flinty clays, clay limestone on a chalk bed, and sand on flint to the east, as well as gravel stones and sand.


      White: Sauvignon Blanc (nearly 80%), Chenin Blanc, some Chardonnay 

      Red and Rosé: Gamay (more than 60% of harvest), Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pineaus d’Aunis, Pinot Noir

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Loire wine tours - Sancerre

      Loire valley is widely known for its castles such as Chenonceau and Chambord, it is also known for the kings and the histories. French people even gave it a nickname: the garden of kings. 

Amboise sur Loire

      But how about wine tours in Loire valley? Well there is a lot of things to do! From this week on, we will give you information about wine tours in Loire valley, So let's pack and go! 

      Today we are going to talk about wine tours in the Sancerre appellation. On our blog, we've got several articles about the wine itself and the terroir of Sancerre, but what about the landscapes?

well... let's have a look...

      Amaaaazing isn't it?! The wines of this appellation are near the Loire river, just imagine: The hills, the Loire river, the vineyards and the sunshine...... It offers the most beautiful landscapes of the region! 

      A little history...
      The Romans arrived with Baccus in France in the 1st century AD, and they planted the first grape vines. In the middle age, the region was linked to the Duchy of Burgundy, which introduced Pinot noir vines into this area. In the late 19th century, because of the phylloxera crisis, the region was covered with Sauvignon blanc because it grafted better onto the American rootstocks. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the wine of Sancerre became world wide famous, with the help of a wave of quality consiciousness.

      The Sancerre village is a midieval town situated on a hill surrounded by vineyards. In the village there is a wine center called "la Maison des Sancerre" with its beautiful view and impressive architecture. When you arrive at the village, it is the ideal place to discover everything about Sancerre wines.

    It will be easy to book tours of the vineyards and there are a lot of wineshops that offer wine tastings in charming small medieval towns. Just drive along the river and discover this amazing appellation. 

PS : don't forget to sit down in a cosy restaurant and order a glass of Sancerre and seafood, it's the perfect match. And don't forget to taste the goat cheese at the end of meal!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Muscadet: the princess of Loire Valley

      Maybe you know Muscat, one of the best sweet varietals around the world. Maybe you know Muscadelle a common Bordeaux white varietal. But how about Muscadet, it sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Have you ever tasted this light white wine from West Loire Valley? Today we will introduce this beautiful wine region: Muscadet.

    Muscadet is located around the biggest city in the northwest of France, it is separated by 4 different appellations, one is at the upper side of Loire Valley, the others are at the under side. There is 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres) of vineyard but only one grape variety: Melon de Bourgogne.

      As its name suggests, this grape variety is come from Burgundy, it almost disappeared there after the phylloxera crisis. However, it regained a new life in the region of Pays de la Loire. Because Melon de Bourgogne can easily adapt to the maritime climate of this region, and resist to the frost in winter and early spring time.


    In Muscadet, there are three major soils: Granit – Micaschiste – Gneiss. These soils have a good ability of drainage, especially in the humid maritime climate region.

Sur lie:

      Melon de Bourgogne is a relatively neutral and simple varietal, in order to get more flavors and complexity, winemakers in Muscadet use a technique called “sur lie”. Generally speaking, the white wine is aging in the oak with in the dead yeast cells which is left after fermentation.

Food Matching:
Muscadet matches very well with light sea food, like:

Fresh oyster

Spaghetti with Clams and Crispy Bread Crumbs

Swordfish with rice

Rounded Sardine with Conch 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Three great Sauvignon regions that we have forgotten

      When we talk about Loire Center white wine, most of people can directly remind of two appellations: Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, however there are also three small appellations closed to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, where we can find very interesting Sauvignon as good as Sancerre’s. Today we will show you the mystery of Menetou-Salon, Quincy and Reuilly.


      There are only 465 hectares in this appellation, including 348 hectares of Sauvignon and 187 hectares of Pinot noire. All the grapes are planted on the slope of hills between 220m and 280m altitude. Most of the wine is sold in France, only 12% of production was exported to UK, Holland, Belgium, Germany and USA. The terroir is based on chalky and limestone soil that is very similar to Sancerre’s. Generally speaking, compared with Sancerre’s Sauvignon, Menetou-Salon’s sauvignon has smaller structure but the same freshness. We usually find out mint, fresh grass, diverse citrus food, and especially lovely white flowers which are much more intense.


      Quincy is one of the smallest appellations in Loire Valley, 270 hectares’ area is planted by only one grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc. It is the oldest AOC in center Loire after the destroy of phylloxera. The climate here is drier and hotter than Menetou-Salon and Sancerre. The soil is completely different, all the vines are seated on the Terrace of Cher which is consisted of sand and gravel. This kind of soil is able to heat quickly under the sunshine. That’s why the aromas and flavors in their wine are plumper, richer, fruitier but not as fresh as Sancerre’s.


    Reuilly is a very small appellation with 215 hectares, including 109 hectares of Sauvignon, 63 hectares of Pinot Noir and 43 hectares of Pinot Gris. The vineyard extends along the side of Arnon River. Thanks to the drier and 
Oyster terra ce (kimmeridgian)
warmer growing season, also the large diurnal viaration between day and night, the grapes are able to reach full ripeness and to keep lovely freshness. The soil in the hillside is based on marl like Burgundy, however, the soil of oyster terrace is just like Quincy’s, which is consisted of sand and gravel. Sauvignon in this region is lighter and softer, the aromas are straight and delicate compared with Sancerre’s Sauvignon. 

      If you only taste Sauvignon of Sancerre and Pouilly fume, you will never fully understand this magical, abundant, and diverse grape variety.Therefore, we suggest you to taste Sauvignon from other regions like Marlborough in New Zealand, Adelaide Hills in Australia, Casablanca in Chlie, Washington state in California, etc.