On Wednesday, March 1, we attended a tasting of Loire Valley wines at the Whitehouse Crawford restaurant in Walla Walla. The wines were very nice. Here are the wines tasted, with my notes and scores.
2015 Champalou Vouvray "Les Foudreaux" ($32) - This was a fine, typical Chenin Blanc. It showed a medium gold color and a floral nose of pear, peach and tangerine, with scents of honeysuckle, jasmine, verbena and spiced white incense. The flavors, as well, were pleasing, with fresh, lively white fruits that were imbued with grape skin, pear skin and stony minerals. The back picked up poire and pêche liqueurs followed by a persistently minerally, faintly honeyed finish, 18.5/20 points.
2015 Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre ($38) - This came on as a fine rendition of upper Loire Sauvignon Blanc. It had a medium gold color and a smoky nose of pear, peach and melon, white lilac, lemongrass and white incense. The flavors were crisp and well delineated, with notes of anise, pear skin and chalky minerals, The back revealed pressed juices and hazelnuts, followed by a ripe, dry finish. 18.5/20 points.
2013 C & P Breton Bourgueil "La Dilettante" ($35) - Produced from Cabernet Franc, this showed a brilliant medium ruby color and a rich, smoky nose of wild fruits - raspberries, cherries and black currants - with scents of crushed roses, bayberry, tobacco and incense. The medium bodied flavors mirrored the aromatics with supple, yet focused, fruits with notes of licorice, cocoa and minerals, followed by a grainy textured back and dryish finish. 18.5/20 points.
2015 Domaine La Chanteleuserie Bourgueil, "Alouettes" ($28) - Deep crimson-ruby colored, this possessed a rich, smoky berried nose of raspberry, currant, bayberry, crushed roses, tobacco and incense. The typical Cab Franc flavors were fairly direct, with notes of licorice, cocoa, earth and minerals. The chewy textured back picked up crushed berries, toffee, roasted nuts and charcoal, followed by a ripe youthful finish. 18.5/20 points.
2014 Marc Bredif Chinon ($35) - Chinon and Bourgueil are across the Loire River from each other and both are made from Cabernet Franc. This one showed a deep ruby-crimson color and intense aromas of cherries and black plums, crushed roses, tobacco, pine needles and incense. The flavors were thick and chewy, with loads of dark fruits, accented by licorice, bittersweet chocolate, and minerals. The back picked up kirsch and framboise liqueurs nougat, followed by a sturdy ripe tannin finish. 18.5/20 points.
2010 Charles Jouget Chinon, "Les Varennes du Grand Clos" (N.A) - This was a fine example of a Cabernet Franc with some bottle age. Deep ruby colored, it showed a sultry, smoky nose of wild berries, cherries, cassis, crushed roses, sweet tobacco, cedar, forest carpet and incense. The dark fruit flavors were focused, almost laser-like, with admixtures of licorice, bittersweet chocolate, French roast and stony minerals. The back revealed sensations of macerated berries, roasted walnuts and toffee followed a long, toasty finish. 19/20 points.
1983 C & P Breton Chinon, "Beaumont" (N.A.) - This was poured from a Magnum. It showed a ruby-garnet color and a mature nose of dried berries, roasted walnuts, orange peel and incense. The flavors were drying up, but still viable, with notes of dried vanilla bean, roasted nuts, dried orange peel and toast. This was past its peak, but still admirable. 18.5/20 points.