Category Archives: Loire Valley

2011 Domaine de la Tonnellerie Sancerre

2011 domaine de la tonnellerie sancerre

We picked up this bottle at the Vin Bin Grand Opening the other day. Sancerre is in the Loire Valley located on the left bank of the Loire River across from Pouilly-Fume. Sancerre produces mostly Sauvignon Blanc however they do produce a small amount of Pinot Noir table wines. I’m a big fan of Loire Valley whites as they often have great terrior of limestone from being grown right on the river.

colonelgrape: 79. Very average bottle of Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Didn’t have the limestone effect I was looking for…ended up being kind of flat. If it were a blind wine I wouldn’t have been able to identify it vs. a bottle from New Zealand. After tasting 40 wines at the tasting I think it’s safe to say our palates were compromised and we missed on this bottle. It’s not bad just not great and not worth $22. I’d pay $10 and be quite happy though.

MobyGrape: 75. I haven’t been in a sauvignon blanc place these days.  It was easy enough to drink, on the lighter side and crisp, but it had that sour-ish note that hasn’t been doing it for me lately.  Tasted a little chardonnay-pissy at first because we just didn’t want to wait to drink it, but once it was thoroughly chilled the flavor was better.

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2011 Barton and Guestier Vouvray

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The past week has been filled with some repeat wines but we’re back at it with this 2011 Baron and Guestier Vouvray. Vouvray comes from the Loire Valley and is 100% Chenin Blanc. This grape has high acidity and the levels of sweetness in the wine vary similarly to Champagne but they use different vocab: Sec, Demi-Sec, Moelloux, Doux with Doux being the sweetest version. Vouvray is also available as a sparkling wine though not as common as the standard white. In some exceptional vintages extremely sweet wines are made via noble rot (similar to Sauternes) with tremendous aging potential…sometimes over 100 years.

We enjoyed this bottle with a poached red snapper:

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This was a simple recipe I saw made on TV by Alton Brown and I found the it online. It’s basically a whole snapper with cous cous, onion, artichoke heart, cherry tomato, lemon, white wine, and butter seasoned with salt and pepper. Wrap in in parchment paper, completely seal it, and allow it to cook for 30 mins until tender. It’s hard to find whole fish at the standard supermarket but if you do find it I recommend this recipe.

MobyGrape: 90.  This was sort of a cross between a Gewurztraminer and a Riesling.  At first I thought it was going to hit me hard with the honey-sweetness, but then it sort of settled into a lighter, crisper sweetness like a Riesling.  It went down easier than I care to admit, it was just such an easy drink, with the appetizer and a lighter stir fry this wine was perfect.  I don’t think it was super expensive either, it’s a good starter wine if you’re looking to make the move into the vino.  And it’s fun to say. Vouvray!

ColonelGrape: 78. A demi-sec Vouvray, it wasn’t really sweet or dry…you got a little of both when you took a sip. Initially it had a floral nose with some fruit…maybe pear. On the palate more of the same, it just didn’t wow me. It seemed like a wine that didn’t know what it wanted to be so it decided to be average. Don’t get me wrong…it wasn’t bad at all, I would have liked to seen it commit more one way or the other on the sweetness. I’ve tried other demi-secs that I liked a whole lot more. The style does go well with the fish though, I’d recommend a demi-sec Vouvray with fish or cheeses…but I’d prefer a different producer.