What are the four sub-regions of the Loire from east to west?
What is the regional generic appellation covering the whole of the Loire?
There isn't one
What is the IGP that covers the Loire?
Val de Loire
Describe Val de Loire wines
Straightforward wines with freshness, light body and simple fruit flavours
What is the climate of the Loire?
Cool Continental inland Maritime in the Nantais
What's the climate like in Anjou? Why?
Slightly warmer and drier than might be expected Protected by Mauges hills Some vineyards are warmed by stony soils
What's the climate of Touraine?
Wetter and cooler than Anjou, with clay soils
Why is vintage important in Loire?
Weather varies wildly in the region
What is a particular issue related to the weather in Loire?
Fungal disease caused by rain
Describe the best vineyards in the Loire
They are south facing, mid-slope and often facing the river for reflected light and heat
How many grape varieties are permitted in the Loire?
What are the main grape varieties of the Loire?
Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc Melon Blanc Cabernet Franc
Where in the Loire is Sauvignon Blanc mostly grown?
Which area of the Loire has the smallest production area?
What appellations are found within the Central Vineyards?
What are the soils of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé like?
Chalky Well-drained Stony
What are the wines of Central Vineyards like?
Hints of green apple and wet stone
Subtle smoky notes from Pouilly-Fumé
Name a village and a vineyard in Sancerre, noted for particularly expressive wines
Chavignol Les Monts Damnés
How long can wines from Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé be aged?
Generally they're not designed to be
How are fresh, fruity wines created in the Loire?
Gentle pneumatic pressing Temperature controlled, stainless steel vats
How are certain Loire wines given a broader texture?
Wines are fermented and matured in old oak vessels Wines are kept on their lees
Is new oak used in the Loire?
By some producers
Does MLF take place in the Loire?
Dependent on vintage (cooler weather produces a greater need due to higher acidity)
What is the most important appellation to the west and south of Sancerre?
What is the grape used in Menetou-Salon?
How are the vineyards to the south and east of Sancerre located?
On the tributaries of the Loire
What are the wines of Menetou-Salon like?
More moderately priced wines made in the same style as Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé
Where does the majority of Sauvignon Blanc come from in the Loire?
What is the next region west of Menetou Salon? What is produced here?
Touraine Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc
What is the generic appellation covering Touraine?
How do the generic wines of Touraine often appear?
Under a varietal label such as Sauvignon de Touraine
Describe wines of Touraine
Made from Sauvignon Blanc Often less concentration than more prestigious appellation Made in a simple fruity style
Give a broad description of Chenin Blanc
Which grape is responsible for the greatest wines of Touraine and Anjou-Saumur?
What is the key viticultural peculiarity with Chenin Blanc?
It is common for grapes to reach different levels of ripeness, even within one bunch
What can be the result if Chenin Blanc is not harvested carefully?
Green, herbaceous aromas
How may the problem of varying ripeness in Chenin Blanc grapes be tackled?
By harvesting in several passes to pick the grapes at a desired level of ripeness
What styles are Chenin grapes made into?
Dry, sweet, still or sparkling
What dictates the style into which Chenin is made?
The ripeness when it is picked
Barely ripe Chenin is used for what in Loire?
What is the ripest Chenin gets when it is picked in Loire?
Shrivelled by the sun or affected by noble rot
What has been the recent harvesting trend for Chenin Blanc in Loire?
To seek greater ripeness, even for dry wines
What has been the result of recent trends for riper Chenin in Loire?
Higher alcohol wines
Describe flavours of young Chenin Blanc wines in the Loire
They vary from fresh apple to tropical fruit depending on grape ripeness
Describe flavours that dry Chenin can show in the Loire
Steely, smoky character
Describe the flavours that sweet Chenin-based wines of the Loire can have
Apricot and citrus peel flavours of noble rot
Can dry/sweet Chenins age?
Yes, for decades
Describe aged Chenins in the Loire
Richer and rounder Aromas of honey, toast and hay High acidity
Why are Chenins different from region to region?
Soil and climate both have an important influence on the character of Chenin
Where in the Loire is Vouvray?
To the east of the city of Tours, in Touraine
What are the styles of wine made in Vouvray?
Sparkling and still Dry to lusciously sweet
What dictates the style in which Vouvray is vinified?
What is the soil and weather like in Vouvray?
Clay soils Cool climate
How do the clay soils and cool climate of Vouvray affect the wine?
Light body Fresh, fruity and floral flavours
What is the role of new oak in Vouvray?
It is rarely used
Which villages lie to the west of Vouvray?
Anjou and Saumur
What is the climate of Anjou and Saumur?
Similar to that of Vouvray (cool climate and clay soils)
How is Saumur renowned?
As a source of sparkling Chenin, made in the traditional method
How is Anjou best known?
For dry wines often matured in new oak
Which areas are just to the west part of Anjou-Saumur?
Savennières and Coteaux du Layon
What is the climate like in Savennières and Coteaux du Layon?
Warmer than Touraine
What is the effect that the warmer climate of Savennières and Coteaux du Layon has on its wines?
Medium to full-bodied
Describe wines of Savennières
Full bodied Chenin Dry Can be complex and age worthy
Is noble rot used in Savennières? Explain
No The vineyards are well exposed, so circulation of air impedes the development of noble rot
Describe wines of Coteaux du Layon
Some of the most renowned sweet wines of the region
How is the Coteaux du Layon situated?
It's located in the sheltered valley of the river Layon to the south of the Loire
What is the viticultural effect of the sheltered valley of the river Layon?
It encourages noble rot to develop
What are the most favoured sites/appellations of the Coteaux du Layon?
Bonnezeaux Quarts de Chaume
What du Quarts du Chaumes and Bonnezeaux produce?
Among the world's greatest sweet wines
How else is Melon Blanc known?
Muscadet Melon de Bourgogne
What are Melon's key viticultural characteristics? Why is this beneficial in the Nantais?
It ripens early and is frost-resistant It's suited to the cool climate
Where is the Nantais?
To the far west of the Loire region and mostly south of the river
How are the wines of Nantais generally known?
Which appellation of Nantais covers the widest area?
Where does the greatest wine production of Nantais come from?
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation
Describe wines from Muscadet appellations
Subtle green fruit flavours
What is the maximum permitted alcohol for Muscadet wines?
Describe maturation of Muscadet
Traditionally in large, old oak vessels Now more commonly in stainless steel or concrete
How long may Muscadet wines be aged?
They should be drunk young
What is the speciality wine from the Nantais area?
Muscadet (Sèvre et Maine) Sur Lie
When is 'Sur Lie' wine from Nantais bottled?
The Spring following the vintage
How long does Sur Lie Muscadet spend on its Lees?
What is the effect of Muscadet being on its Lees?
It gives the wines a richer texture
How is Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie vinified to retain delicacy and freshness?
By being handled very little
Why is Cabernet Franc well suited to the Loire?
It flowers and ripens early
What dictates the style in which Cabernet Franc is vinified into in the Loire?
Where is Chinon? What is grown there?
To the south of the Loire in Touraine, just east of Saumur
Where else in Touraine is Cab Franc grown? Where is this?
Bourgueil Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil North of the Loire in Touraine
Describe how Cab Franc wines vary within Touraine
Sandy soils: Light, fruity wines for early drinking
Limestone/clay soils (south facing slopes): Fuller bodied, more tannic
What is the approach to oak ageing in Touraine for Cab Franc?
Some producers age in oak
Can Touraine reds age?
The best can evolve in bottle over many years
What are the relevant red wine appellations to the west of Touraine?
Describe the wines of Saumur and Saumur-Champigny
Lighter in body and tannin than those of Touraine
Juicy berry fruit and floral notes
Can be served chilled
Some producers making fuller-bodied, age worthy reds
What is the second most planted black variety in the Loire?
Where is Gamay mainly planted in the Loire? In what style?
Touraine and Anjou
Fruity, early drinking wines
What is the third red grape planted in the Loire?
Where is Pinot Noir grown in the Loire?
Why is Pinot Noir so rare in Loire?
The best sites are usually reserved for Sauvignon Blanc
Broadly speaking, what style is Pinot Noir made into in the Loire?
Light in style
Where is Rosé produced in the Loire?
Significant amounts in Touraine and Sancerre
Where is Rosé de Loire produced?
Anjou Saumur and Touraine
Where is the majority of Rosé de Loire produced?
Where is sweet Anjou-Saumur produced?
It is only dry
How must Anjou-Saumur be blended?
it must be a minimum of 30% Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon
Which are the two additional appellations within Anjou-Saumur which produce Rosé?
Which is the highest quality of Anjou-Saumur's Rosé appellations? Describe it
Always medium sweet
Made from a blend of Cab Franc and Cab Sauvignon
Describe Rosé d'Anjou
Less sweet than Cabernet d'Anjou
Made predominantly from Grolleau
Blended with Cab Franc and other local varieties
Describe the Rosé wines of Touraine
Can be made from a wide array of black grape varieties
Usually dry, fresh and fruity
Describe Sancerre Rose
Must be made from Pinot Noir
Usually pale in colour and light in body
Dry, with delicate fruit flavours
How may Loire Rosés be vinified?
Direct pressing or short maceration on the skins
Fermented in inert, temperature controlled vessels to retain fruit flavours