Called in to see Domaine de la Charrière to pick up some wine while doing a whistlestop drive around some of the lesser known and smaller appellations around Tours. The vineyards of Jasnières are situated within the communes of Lhomme and Ruillé-sur-Loir and fall within the larger appellation Coteaux du Loir. Jasnières was one of the first appellations created in 1937 - the tiny surface area of 65 hectares was first developed by Cistercian monks and although popular during the Middle Ages, it saw a downturn in popularity re-emerging in the last 20 or 30 years. Many liken the wines to those of Savennières (being made solely from Chenin Blanc, planted densely and worthy of ageing) although the terroir is quite different. Vineyards are planted on steepish slopes and there is a preponderance of largish flint stones. The wines are golden in colour, have a honeyed character backed up by evident minerality and can last for decades. We picked up a selection of vintages including 2000, 2005 and 2007 (fuller descriptions of the wines were posted on le tasting room news following the Salon des Vins in February).
The Coteaux du Loir and Jasnières vineyards are the most northerly in the Loire region and are close to Le Loir (not La Loire). Apart from the scattered vineyards making up this tiny appellation, vines are not to be seen for quite some distance and one certainly has the impression of having moved away from the mainstream.
With the glorious Spring like weather on our side it was a pleasure to take the time winding our way through the communes and villages getting a feel for these slightly off-beat wines.