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Kat’s Blog – Loire Valley Favourites

Domaine L’Aumonier Chenin Sec 2015

I am a lover of cool climate wines – the freshness, the acidity and the pure, elegant fruit. The Loire sits firmly under this belt and I adore all things Loire: the picturesque Chateaux, the history, the river, the countryside and of course, the wines Such a diverse array of wines are produced here, all with a good lick of acidity and generally, slightly lower in alcohol than the wines produced in the warmer regions of the wine world.
Chenin Blanc is one of my favourites from the Loire. It has high natural acidity that gives it a wonderful capacity to age (it acts like a preservative). This grape is so versatile and is completely at home in the Loire Valley. Styles can be bone dry, to semi sweet, to luscious and it also produces a good sparkling wine.
The white wine I am drinking this summer is the Domaine L’Aumonier Chenin Sec 2015 (amazing vintage!). It is a dry Chenin which is rich, rounded and full of pure fruit (apricots and pears). I adore the nuttiness and honeyed, waxy notes that have developed with five years of age. This is a favourite to be drunk with creamy chicken pasta on a Friday night – it really cuts through the creaminess (and I also enjoy a glass while cooking!).

Chinon Haute des Vignes 2018

I think I mentionned that I love Loire……! Cabernet Franc is my absolute favourite red grape of all time and is not that easy to come by in the UK – it is often sold as a blend with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Cabernet Franc is well suited to the cooler climate that the Loire offers, where is can ripen properly and does not get over-baked, giving that wonderful acidity and pure fruit.
The Chinon Haute des Vignes is my summer drinking red wine this year – it can be drunk a little chilled on a warm summer’s evening. Chinon tends to produce red wines that are softer than other Cabernet Francs of the Loire (Bourgueil, St Nicolas de Bourgueil). This is no exception. It offers raspberries and redcurrants along with green peppers and that typical ‘pencil shaving’ flavours that Cabernet Franc is renowned for. This wine goes so well with a good steak and chips. Some people may like something more robust with a steak, but this is the wine for me and its slightly lower alcohol (12.5%) means I can have another glass or two and not feel it the next morning. Having it lightly chilled is a great alternative to a rose…..bring on the sun!

 

Kat, Wine Utopia Stockbridge