A triage of wines tasted over multiple days is never easy to do. You depend on your notes and your recollection of the moment. The ambiance does impact your judgement no matter how hard you try to remain objective. And of course rarity of the wine does prejudice your reaction. But notwithstanding all of the above, I think my selections of #1 and #2 had as much to do with rarity as it was validation that certain white wines can be age worthy. I sincerely hope that all wine lovers can have the opportunity to experience wines such as these.

 #10 Domaine de la Soucherie Rosé d’Anjou 2017, I had to include this wine because rosé d’anjou is the wine that first turned me on to my love of wine

#9 Chateau du Petit Thouars Cuvée Amiral 2010, 4 years in oak and 4 years bottle aging, deep red with spice aromas and “macho” tannins

#8  Chateau de Coulaine Chinon 2017, a great expression of Cebernet Franc with dark berry aromas and flavors soft tannins and so easy to drink

#7 FL Les 4 Villages Coteaux du Layon 2011, redolent of ripe apricots and peaches, well balanced with acidity, an unctuous wine that compares favorably with Sauternes at half the cost

#6 Domaine de la Pépière Chateau Thébaud 2015, a cru Muscadet, deep yellow color, fruity aromatic, with butterscotch flavors

#5 Pithon-Paillé Coteau des Treilles 2013, this superb Chenin Blanc has ripe fruit aroma and minerality, like “biting into a rock”

#4 Gratien et Meyer “1864” 2010, a blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this Crémant de Loire will knock you off your feet

#3 deLadoucette  Pouilly-Fumé 2012 Grand Millesimé, apricot peach aromas, medium body with minerality and a hint of residual sugar makes it rich and creamy

#2 Marc Brédif Vouvray Moelleux 1959, one of the great vintages of the last century, this botrytized Chenin Blanc had aromas of ripe white fruit, simply breath-taking

and here it is, the #1 wine in my personal ranking of wines tasted during our 2 Loire Valley tours:

#1 Domaine du Closel Clos du Papillon 2006, with 1.5 years’ barrel aging, acquired delicate aroma of spices, camomile with pronounced acidity, this wine will open your eyes about Chenin Blanc


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