Loire

Appellations

Situated in the Western Loire, Anjou reaches it's fullest potential in the production of Chenin Blanc on Schist soils in and around Coteaux du Layon.
Sitting on the North banks of the Loire the generally south facing vineyards of Bourgeuil are predominantly planted with Cabernet Franc and can produce some of France's most interesting and best value medium bodied red wines.
Chavignol is a village within the area of Sancerre, home to one of the Sauvignon Blancs finest proponents, Francois Cotat.
Chinon sits in the Touraine district of the Loire and is primarily a region known for the production of medium bodied reds made from Cabernet Franc. A small amount of Rose is also produced, along with very small quantites of white from Chenin Blanc. The best reds, such as those of Charles Joguet, have the ability to age in bottle, and are a delightful combination of an intensity of fruit, finesse and refreshing acidity.
The finest region within Anjou producing mouthwatering sweet and often botrytised Chenin Blanc from schist and limestone soils. A source of excellent value sweet wine.
Perhaps overshadowed by its neighbour Vouvray, Montlouis has the ability to produce some of the most exciting and delicious Chenin Blanc, from the totally dry to Botrytised sweet examples. These are taut mineral wines with exceptional acidities and ability to age beautifully in bottle.
Muscadet is a region which extends south-east of Nantes towards the mouth of the Loire river. The most important region within is undoubtedly Muscadet-Sevre et Maine, home to the Sur Lie wines that rest on their lees giving greater character to the dominant grape variety Melon de Bourgogne. Unsprisingly given their proximity to the sea these wines can prove to be excellent partners to shellfish and simple fish dishes.
Pouilly-Fume can only be made from Sauvignon Blanc grown in the region surrounding the town of Pouilly-sur-Loire, and alonside Sancerre, represents the potential for the finest and most complext of all of France's Sauvignon Blancs. The wines are often characterised by a flinty characteristic attributed to the high flint (Silex) content in the local limestone soils.
A tiny appellation within the Coteaux du Layon region of Anjou that in fine vintages produces exceptional sweet botrytized Chenin Blancs that, thanks to their impressive acidities, can have great longevity.
On the opposite banks of the Loire from Pouilly sits Sancerre. Whilst much of what is grown in Sancerre can be of variable quality, there are enough good growers to ensure it is also home to some of the greatest of France's Sauvignon Blancs. Cotat, Crochet, Pinard all domonstrate this, with the last two also producing some particularly fine and haunting red sancerre from Pinot Noir.
A region within the western Loire known primarily for the production of light-medium bodied but extremely pretty examples of Cabernet Franc.
A region within Anjou in the Loire that produces some of the most taut and concentrated examples of dry Chenin Blanc, often possessing such high acidity in their youth that patience is required.
A sub-region of Bourgeuil whose wines are somewhat lighter and more delicate that those of straight Bourgeuil designation.
The most famous Chenin Blanc producing region in the Loire and home to the famous cave cellars dug into the Tuffeau banks of the Loire. The wines from Vouvray, almost exclusively Chenin Blanc, can be produced in styles ranging from the utterly dry, through demi sec, (medium-dry) to the sweet moelleux. The latter is produced by numerous passages through the vineyards, and only in exceptional years. Due to the exceptional acidities present in these wines they have an ability to age only matched, in white wines, by German Riesling.