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Saturday 9 May 2015

Centre Loire Wines with EASCA

A tasting of Centre Loire wines with EASCA at Cambridge Wine Merchants

Of the Centre Loire areas, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are pretty much household names; less obvious are Reuilly, Quincy and Menetou Salon whilst Coteaux du Giennois barely registers in any of my wine books.

Northerly and cool-climate, Loire wines are fresh and elegant - the whites are flinty, mineral Sauvignons; the red and rosé, both Pinots, show fresh red fruits.

Centre Loire suggested these wine would match with Chinese food, but their light freshness suggests something more local and European.

2013 Pouilly-Fumé Champalouettes 2013 (£13, Sainsbury) fresh, crisp and aromatic in a modern way, but otherwise lacking much of interest and a little harsh.
Match with shell fish or goat's cheese.
Domaine de Villargeau, Coteau de Giennois (£9.99, M&S) complex and substantial, with ripe orchard fruit, melon and sweet spice - further improves with extended aeration. Good.
Match with mackerel pate or salade nicoise.

Reuilly Cuvée Nathalie 2014 Nathalie Lafond (£11.99, Majestic) Crisp, fresh, precise Sauvignon with gooseberries and lime; good aromatics and minerality.
Match with seafood or goat's cheese.

Etienne de Loury, Sancerre rose 2012 (£17, Oddbins) smoky-spicy with red fruits; fresh and balanced with a leesy-creamy texture. Impressive, but you pay for the Sancerre name and low- yielding, cool-climate vines.
Match with salmon or cold cuts of ham with double Gloucester.

2013 Sancerre Rouge au Bois de l’Épine, Maison Foucher Lebrun (£15, M&S) an attractive Loire Pinot with ripe red fruits and freshness. Elegant and pretty.

Match with duck, wild salmon or tuna sushi.

Other related articles
Matching Loire Wines and Food‏ - with Fiona Beckett
Matching Loire and Sushi with YO!Sushi
EASCA Tasting at Cambridge Wine Merchants
Quentin Sadler's review - in which he does actually match them with Chinese food

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