As you travel east up the Loire River from France’s Atlantic coast, you pass some of the country’s great wine appellations: Muscadet, Savennières, Saumur, Chinon, and Vouvray, just to name a few. Aside from Muscadet, this stretch of the Loire Valley is the land of Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, and some of France’s most storied châteaux. Shortly after you pass through Orléans, the river turns south and you soon arrive at Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire. This is the realm of Sauvignon Blanc, where pockets of outstanding, value-driven Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris also thrive. The châteaux are sparser and more modest and the banks of the river undulate more than they do in the relatively flat western Loire. The soils here are entirely distinct from those of the west. Rather than the Touraine’s chalky tuffeau limestone, for example, much of Sancerre and Pouilly—and even Reuilly, an hour west—sit atop the same special Kimmeridgian soils that form the foundation of Chablis. This ancient marine limestone gives the whites a mesmerizing tension and minerality you rarely find in Sauvignon Blanc. Many parcels are also littered with silex, or flint, which gives Sauvignon an impressive backbone and texture as well as a subtly smoky—“fumé”—note. Pinot Noir from the eastern Loire, meanwhile, ranges from fresh and delicious bistro quaffers—see Domaine de Reuilly’s Pinot Noir—to complex and terroir-focused monopole cuvées such as Chotard’s Champs d’Alligny from vines planted by Simon Chotard’s great-uncle and grandfather in 1963-65. Finally, Domaine de Reuilly’s Pinot Gris offers as distinctive a take on rosé as you’ll taste all summer. Silky and floral, it blurs the line between blanc and rosé so expertly you can’t help but keep going back to your glass to ponder it again and again! For a long time, this slice of the Loire Valley was prized for its pleasant and versatile wines, and while they remain as charming as ever, today they also deliver more and more on the potential Jacqueline Friedrich described in her 1996 book A Wine and Food Guide to the Loire. “When you stand atop the vertiginous slopes of Monts Damnés or look across the sea of vines in Les Loges, you sense that with a bit more commitment on the part of the vigneron, these wines could be mind-blowing.” Mind-blowing may be rare and subjective, but beautiful? Refreshing? Complex? Satisfying? Terroir-driven? The bottles below deliver these in spades.
Daniel Chotard France | Loire | Sancerre
Previously blended into the domaine’s Sancerre rouge, the 2018 vintage is the first separate bottling of this unique vineyard, a successful experiment if there ever was one.
Daniel Chotard France | Loire | Sancerre
The Chotards are some of the lucky few who have Sancerre parcels that are ideal for growing Pinot Noir, and theirs have been planted to Pinot for well over fifty years, so the vines are at full maturity.
Franck Follin-Arbelet—joined today by his son Simon—is one of our most exciting and talented growers in Burgundy. He simply does everything right, and I mean everything. A true artist, he is the type of grower you can seek for years without finding: exactly what we look for here at KLWM...
Early June, 2009. Gail, Dixon, and I were driving from Tuscany back to France along the Ligurian coast. Earlier, Dixon had attended Vinitaly and been impressed by the wines of a domaine called Punta Crena, so we pulled off the autostrada, the one with all the tunnels, and drove down to Varigotti...
Through their various bottlings, these three domaines contribute to a collection of Chablis marked by place, each reflecting a unique site and the commitment of a talented vigneron. They communicate the Chablisien goût de terroir—that unequaled aroma and flavor that can only come from Chardonnay grown in this chilly pocket of northern Burgundy.
The only thing we like better than great wine is great wine that doesn’t cost much and we’re happy to report that a bottle of great wine can still be found for $20 or less. We’ve put together a collection of our favorites all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and a couple of sparklers.
From a tiny village nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees to Burgundy’s golden slope and the prestigious vineyards of Piedmont, we have just received dozens of exciting wines from many distinct regions in France and Italy.
If you ever need two superheroes to help tackle the evil villain of thirst, then Catherine and Pierre Breton are prime candidates. Thanks to these new arrivals from la famille Breton, barbecues, picnics, apéritifs, brunches, pregames, post-games, baby showers, regular showers, bubble baths, tailgates, and happy hours are all taken care of. Yet again, the heroes of soif have saved us from going thirsty.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa