(2017) The epitome of refined Sauvignon Blanc, this does not miss out on fruit or a hint of nicely controlled exuberance, but is so classic in its style. The nose has gentle stone fruit aromas, just a background suggestion of grassiness and flint, all very elegant with a shade of white flowers somewhere in the mix. On the palate the sweet ripeness of the fruit is there, but this is dry and has some hedgerow, gooseberry tartness, a squeeze of grapefruit and lime citrus, into a long, elegantly tapering finish. Very classy Sauvignon Blanc indeed.
(2017) A case of this was purchased by me maybe a decade ago, and after three of four enjoyable bottles from it, I rather forgot all about the remainder in the cellar, so it was time to try this 27-year-old sweet Chenin Blanc again. The colour is a lovely buttercup/light gold, with immediately attractive notes of honey and wild flowers, beeswax and pollen, quite complex and so inviting. On the palate it is medium-bodied but has some slippery texture and weight, and the sweetness is lovely: just as sweet as I remember it, a light honey and caramel, but dazzling freshness too. Long, with some barley sugar and excellent acidity, it's not full-on sweet, but just lovely. Drink with fruity desserts, foie-gras, or on its own. There are actually two or three stockists of this 1990 at time of review - use wine-searcher.
(2017) A Loire wine for those who don't like their Sauvignon Blanc too tropical or too green, this pale-coloured, mineral example has stony aromas, citrus and the vaguest suggestion of nettle. In the mouth the 65-year-old vines grown on limestone soils give a natural concentration and bit of grip, the fruit taut with melon rind and lemon peel flavours, that little stone and salts note there in the acidity of the finish.
(2017) An unusual sparkling rosé, made in the Loire Valley by the traditional method, with second fermentation in individual bottles. It's a blend of Gamay, Grolleau and Pineau d'Aunis, and has quite a deep colour with streaming small bubbles. On the nose it is all about buoyant, cheerful red fruits, summery and bright with rose-hip and strawberry. In the mouth that delightful red berry fruitiness and freshness continues, a cut of tart raspberry to add lovely balancing acidity, but the sweet elegance of the fruit powers through. Delightful and different.
(2017) This sparkling wine from the Loire Valley is an unusual Blanc de Blancs blend of Chenin and Chardonnay, made by the traditional method. Moderately small bubbles rise through the glass, and it is the fresh apple cut of the Chenin that dominates, before a little custardy infill from the ripe Chardonnay. In the mouth this has loads of flavour and fruit sweetness, though perhaps the mousse could be a little more fine. Tangy, with citrus and quite a vivacious feel, it drinks well and would be a fine aperitif fizz.
(2017) The label doesn't list the varieties for this distinctly off-dry to medium-sweet Loire pink, but it's 60% Cabernet Franc with 20% each of Gamay and Grolleau. Quite pale in colour, it has a sweetie, cherry lips and red liquorice nose, some floral aspects, and a plenty of sweetness on the palate. Fruity and simple, there is decent acidity, but it is verging on a dessert wine for my palate and perhaps best matched to strawberry shortcake or similar desserts.
(2017) Red wines that can be lightly chilled are a summer pleasure. Thoughts turn to Gamay and Cabernet Franc, but this is another Loire variety called Grolleau, often made as rosé and here as a crunchily fresh red. Small, firm berries, herbs and a crack of pepper on the nose, then a palate that is not short of that dry, cranberry and raspberry fruit, but has such a clear line of acidity, gentle tannins and that fine herby, sappy character that it is an easy-drinking delight. £11.70 for Daily Drinker Club members. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) From the Loire Valley, this is a Vin 'Gris', a local description for the wine style you and I know as rosé. It's made from the indigenous Pineau d'Aunis variety, and comes from a small vineyard specifically managed to make this rosé wine. The colour is fashionably pale, and it has mouth-watering aromas that immediately suggest it will be dry and savoury, with small red fruits and a crack of pepper, and a fine raspberry-like suggestion of tartness. In the mouth there's a certain creaminess, but its that crisp red fruit and crunchy red apple freshness that pushes forward, some real presence here, even a nip of spicy tannin, and a good long finish.
(2017) Cabernet Franc from clay-sandy soils in the Loire Valley, and a sixth generation wine estate. Nicely translucent, deep cherry colour and a fruit-filled nose, brimming with raspberry and plum, a lovely hint of black leaf tea and gentle herbaceous character that is very appealing. In the mouth that refined, dry black fruit and herbal edge continues to delight, a dustiness to the tannins and juicy acids making this very easy to drink indeed.
(2017) OVNI = 'Objet Viticole Non Identifié', is Mourat's playful name for wines that he labels "anti-conformist," and different from what you might expect. This Chenin Blanc from organic vineyards is vinified in concrete 'eggs' and has a beautifully precise nose, aromas of gentle flowers, crunchy green apple and a touch of straw or melon rind. In the mouth it is crystal clear too. Is there just a touch of rounding old oak? There's certainly texture and a hint of creaminess, but its the dazzling freshness of the sweet fruit and crunchy acidity that drives this terrific wine. Even better, Daily Drinker club members buy for £11.25. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.