He Said, She Said: Loire Valley Wines 2011 Boston Trade Tasting

KATRIN – I was so looking forward to the Loire Valley Wines tasting on April 4 – we are huge fans of wines from the Loire and had a really great time at the tasting at the W Hotel last year. But it was also the location, as neither of us had been to Fenway Park’s EMC Club before. With an incredible view of the Red Sox home field, it was hard not to think about spring and ballgames (although we all know now that hasn’t worked out well).

GLENN – I was pleased when I was notified that the Loire Valley Trade Tasting would be in April. Last year, the tasting was held in September, not the ideal time to showcase these wines which are so right for summer. I figured I could get a jump on the season with this event. My agenda was to taste off-dry, i.e. “demi-sec”, Vouvrays  – I like a touch of sweetness in the summer, Rosés and value-priced sparklers. NB – In my more cynical moments, I consider all non-Champagne sparklers to be good value. And of course, the location was superb – The EMC Club at Fenway Park. So there I was high above home plate tasting wines from one of the most underrated wine regions of the world – a  most pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

KATRIN – I didn’t have an agenda like Glenn and tasted a variety – sparkling, whites, and reds. Among my favorites were:

  • 2008 Celestin Blondeau Sancerre Moulins Bales – pink grapefruit and lime; fresh, but not overly acidic
  • 2008 Celestin Blondeau Pouilly-Fume Rabichottes – lovely with great minerality; full-bodied but still very fresh
  • The wines of Chartrand Imports – terroir-driven, biodynamic wines
  • 2005 Domanine Couly Dutheil de L’Echo
  • Langlois-Chateau Cremant de Loire Brut
  • Langlois-Chateau Cremant de Loire Brut Rose

GLENN – At the end of the tasting, I checked my scorecard to see how I had done. There were two Vouvrays I’d  found notable, Jean Dumont Vouvray 2008 and Marcel Martin “Le Droissy” 2009. Both had a good jolt of acidity to balance the residual sugar of the wines. My favorite sparkler was a pink, Langlois-Chateau Cremant de Loire Brut Rosè NV. The wine – 100% Cabernet Franc – was pleasantly fruity and quite lively, a perfect aperitif for a summer’s evening. However, I struck out in my search for Rosés. For whatever reason, there was a dearth of Rosé – I could only find three to taste; none were memorable. I was commiserated over the Rosé drought with a taste of Chateau de Suronde Quarts de Chaume 2003. Vinified from botrytis-infected Chenin Blanc grapes, the wine is a lush nectar, capable of sweetening any disappointment. It was also the most expensive wine at the show.


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