The Latest – December 2020


The Latest – December 2020

David’s Blog details updates on the 12th edition of Wine Behind the Label and contains compelling seasonal offers on both print and digital guides plus an additional discount code at checkout! There is a short window of opportunity if you wish to order a copy of the hardback book for delivery in the UK before Christmas with Monday 30th November being the final day for orders.

The print book will continue to be available to order but for delivery after Christmas and via all good bookstores (worldwide). The Digital edition will be ready to download in early December via the Wine behind the label Shop! The seasonal offers and checkout discount hold to the end of December.

With over 4,000 wineries with full profiles, over 7,000 wineries covered with wines rated and approaching 27,000 wines rated in the guide there is no shortage of information to keep you up to date and draw up your wish list of wines to seek out and perhaps regions to incorporate into holidays…..

That dream moment when we can all actively make plans to go on holiday….

If you live in the UK and can imagine taking a spring or early summer break the Wine Behind the Label section on the Loire may appeal. Amongst the A-Z of producers you will find snippets to temp you, possibly for a long weekend or a five day break that we hope the channel ferries will be able to offer us again soon!

From the Introduction to the Loire:

“The Loire is perhaps the most diverse and certainly geographically the most extensive of all France’s classic wine regions. Inevitably there is a vast difference in styles from Nantes on the Atlantic coast to the heart of the Auvergne. The Loire drains 20% of France and its source is only around 100 kilometres north of the Mediterranean”.

In Wine behind the Label the Introductions to each Country and their wine regions set the scene, providing extremely informative overviews and can carry you away and fire the imagination. Some you may already know very well and others you may want to add to your tasting, if not visiting, wish list. You will find an A-Z of producers by Appellations/Commune, get your bearings by checking the map, catch up on Vintages and then delve into the A-Z of individual wineries and recommended wines, all with ratings and price codes.

Here are a few snippets from entries in the Loire to wet your appetite:

Dom. de La Bergerie (Anjou)
“….Their eldest daughter, Anne, joined them in 2007 after several years working as a sommelier in France and elsewhere. She became a partner in the business in 2010. Anne’s husband, David, is a chef with experience of working with a number of France’s leading chefs including Alain Ducasse and Joël Robuchon. In February 2010 he opened La Table de la Bergerie, which gained a Michelin Star in February 2017. It is very rare in the Loire to find a restaurant attached to a wine estate. La Table de la Bergerie is definitely recommended…” (Jim Budd)

Keep fit while tasting…….

Domaine des Bérioles (Saint-Pourçain)
“…is another dynamic estate from the Upper Loire underlining that these widely scattered appellations are well worth exploring. Furthermore, this is a rising star with a young and dynamic management team forging a reputation for a Domaine that made its first wine in 2011….  They have two different types of soil – clay-limestone and granite. The Domaine’s top wines are selected according to soil type. As well as making wine, the Domaine also is promoting and developing wine tourism. In 2018 they created Balades en Bérioles – five circuits through the vineyards and local area, which can be followed on foot, mountain bike, horse or even a car…” (Jim Budd)

If you like a regional wine challenge…

Dom. de Juchepie (Côteaux du Layon)
“Eddy Oosterlinck’s tiny Layon property is making some increasingly good dry and late-harvested whites. He currently has 7 ha under vine and his output is a mere 1,200 or so cases a year so the wines will not be that easy to find. However, they are good value for money and will be worth the hunt”. (David Moore)

And approve of wine tourism generally…

Dom. de Rocheville (Saumur /Saumur-Champigny)
“…The estate now has 17 hectares of vines. Initially it was certified Terra Vitis (2011) but in 2019 the conversion to organic viticulture was completed. As elsewhere in Saumur-Champigny biodiversity is taken seriously. Picking is by hand. In 2013 an impressive modern winery and visitor centre was opened on the plateau above Parnay. Wine tourism is very much encouraged. It is good to see the arrival of this ambitious and serious Domaine in Saumur with the capital and means to promote both their wines and those of Saumur”. (Jim Budd)

Need a conference venue or dream about one beyond all those zoom meetings?!

Vincent Roussely (Touraine)
“Vincent Roussely is based in Angé in the Cher Valley some 40 kilometres east of Tours. Angé is a small village and should not be confused, although they sound the same, with Angers, the largest town in Anjou. ….The eight-hectare Domaine has been organic since 2007 with the oldest vines now 80 years old. Sauvignon Blanc is the dominant variety but there is also Côt (Malbec), Pineau d’Aunis, Cabernet Franc and Gamay planted…. Vincent is very well aware of the importance of wine tourism. There is a well-set up shop along with facilities for holding conferences and seminars.” (Jim Budd)

Ancient and modern…..

Dom. Saint-Vincent (Saumur-Champigny)
“The 35 ha of vineyards here were originally planted in the 15th century. They are cultivated in clay and limestone and the local tuffeau sub-soil. ….” (David Moore)

Franz Saumon (Montlouis)
“Franz Saumon, who established his Domaine in 2002, is one of the newcomers to Montlouis, who have galvanised and made this small appellation so dynamic….He works organically / biodynamically making very clean and precise wines.” (Jim Budd)

And somewhere to rest your head and take this all in…..

 Château de Minière

Ch. Minière (Bourgueil)
“…The now 29-hectare Domaine is planted entirely with Cabernet Franc. The vines range from around 10 years old to over 100 years. The vines are both on the gravel terraces and the clay limestone slopes. The Domaine is now fully organic. As part of what is called ‘a complete wine experience’ it is now possible to stay at the renovated château, which dates back to the 16th and
17th century…” (Jim Budd)

So, with thanks to Jim Budd, one of our contributors and David for these snippets taken from the Wine behind the Label 12 edition Loire producer profiles, a taster of one region in one (quite famous) wine producing country!

Happy eating, happy drinking and happy travelling (when we can)!

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