2003 Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Demi-Sec, France, Loire, Wine Review

2003 was an extremely hot vintage across all of Europe.  The heat had two different effects on the vines.  Some of the grapes got withered and raisened from the heat.  Other vines just shut down an the grapes never got fully ripe.  And, a few places thru a combination of luck, micro-climates and hard work in the vineyard made good wines.  This wine seems to have a bit of all three of those.  Still, at age 15, it is drinking very well.  Medium deep golden in color.  The nose is sugary with apricots.  On the palate, this has nice apricot fruit.  Slightly sweet.  Not a lot of depth or complexi

2015 Domaine du Haut Bourg Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu, France, Loire valley, Muscadet, Wine review

$12.  This is a nice value although the world of Muscadets in filled with nice to amazing values.  The best Muscadets will age, many will hold if not improve in the cellar and some need to be drunk younger.  This one seems to be in the later category.  At this point, it doesn't have that crisp freshness that makes Muscadets so welcome.  Medium gold in color.  The nose has apples and slight dust and even slighter lemon juice.  On the palate, this is fat.  Sour apple notes.  A bit clipped on the finish.  That said, it is reasonably food friendly.  A solid wine at a very fair price.  Perhaps a

2013 François Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Clos du Breuil, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

Great showing for this.  Silvery gold in color.  The nose is great with slight orange peel and quince.  Nice minerality.  On the palate this has a great texture.  Slightly oily texture.  Notes of oranges and minerals.  Great acidity.  This kept improving in the glass.  Long finish.  Very food friendly.  This wine retails for under $30 and is great now but should hold and maybe improved for a while.  This is made from Chenin Blanc which ages better than most people think.  

2014 François Chidaine Vouvray Sec Les Argiles, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

This wine has a reputation of being a bit oxidized and advanced in 2014.  This bottle was a bit advanced but it was also spot on drinking right now.  Medium golden in color.  The nose has anjou pears along with minerals and a salinty which is very nice.  This has a slightly oily texture.  The pears continue and if this has any oxidation, it is quite small.  There is good acidity.  Nice finish.  Enjoyed with a Ginger Parsnip Pear soup, this was a perfect match with a nice synergy.  It might not make old bones, but it is drinking quite well right now.

NV Caves de Grenelle Peche Imperiale, France, Loire, Wine Review

This is a Chenin Blanc based sparkling wine that is infused with Peaches.  It is not meant to be a serious wine that should be cellared for long term.  It is made to be a fun wine, buy it, take it home and pop a cork.  At $13, it does this nicely.  Deeper golden in color.  The nose is unmistakably - peaches.  Duh!  There is a slight effervescence to the wine.  The peaches carry thru to the palate.  Light bodied and easy drinking.  Nice for a party.   

2017 François Chidaine Sauvignon Touraine, France, Loire, Wine Review

From a top producer in the Loire Valley, this is a basic Sauvignon Blanc.  For $16, this is a nice value.  Light green/gold in color.  The nose is a bit dusty with some pine notes.  With air a bit of grass and minerals emerge.  On the palate, this is like eating sweet tarts.  It has a dry but sugary quality to it.  Tart citrus.  It took some getting used to but then it drank fine.  Long finish.  Worked great with an assortment of cheeses which really helped the wine come together.  

2005 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Le Haut-Lieu, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

Golden in color.  Fantastic nose.  Clean and expressive.  Sea air, crushed shells, apples and honey.  On the palate, this has a great backbone of acidity.  Slightly oily texture.  Minerals, crushed shells with an herbal note.  Also some apples.  Pinpoint precision.  Slight orange citrus on the finish.  Seems to be youthful but almost at peak.  Of course, it should be at this level for another decade or more.  Complex.  Great with all kinds of food.  These still are under $40 which is a great value.  

2010 Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Sec, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

This is Chenin Blanc from one of the top producers in Vouvray.  While not to the same extent, Vouvray has dealt with premature oxidation in their wines much like Burgundy.  This wine has been one of those which has had issues.  Luckily, there were no such issues for this bottle.  Still a light gold in color.  The nose is nice with minerals, slight burnt orange and quince paste.  On the palate, this is dry.  Minerals and burnt orange peel (like in some cocktails).  There is a bit of bitterness on the finish.  It is a very good wine that really begs for food to shine.  Good bottles of this ha

2004 Luneau-Papin / Domaine Pierre de la Grange Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie Le "L" d'Or, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

A great example of one of the top Muscadets.  This cost $15 on release and a recent vintage is not much more.  Its been aged for 14 years and it was wonderful.  Still fresh, crisp and enjoyable.  Golden in color.  The nose is great.  Complex with sea air, sea shells and slight honey notes.  On the palate, this is laser precision minerals.  Slightly oily texture.  Some salinity.  For those who prefer oysters, this is the perfect match but works with other food as well.  Long finish.  Just a gorgeous $15 bottle of wine.  

2016 Henri Poiron Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie Domaine des Quatre Routes, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

I love Muscadet.  They are some of the best values in the wine world.  Rarely do the cost more than $15 and even the very best are under $30.  And they age much better than many people think.  Light green gold in color.  The nose has slate, green apples, sea air and slight crushed shells.  A bit of salinity as well.  On the palate, this is slightly oily.  Nice mineral streak, crushed shells and slight grapefruit. Slightly warm on the finish, but serving a bit cooler might help that.  It retails for $15 which is a very fair price and well worth it.  

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