le tasting room

Loire wine tours, tastings, day trips from Paris & short breaks organised by experienced English wine trade professionals.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Domaine de la Noblaie - Chinon

A day in between tours enabled us to pop over to Chinon this morning to pick up an order from Domaine de la Noblaie in Ligré just outside Chinon.  It's a beautiful location, tucked away in the Vau Breton (valley of Cabernet Franc) and it was a glorious morning.  Elodie Peyrussie told us they had 20mm of rain yesterday.  Certainly the ground seemed sodden but thankfully for them, no hail damage. It was a rather different story driving back through the vineyards of Saumur Champigny where we saw quite severe damage in certain parcels.  

We had a huge downpour here in Cumeray yesterday afternoon accompanied by hail.  Our local fields were flooded and mud swept down on to the river road damaging the recently sown sunflowers.  In Brissac there was no rain at all - we were happily tasting wines at Domaine de Bablut shortly afterwards in the sunshine.  

 Looking down on the vineyards of Domaine de la Noblaie

It just goes to show how different each year is.  These vines will probably flower in a couple of weeks - this time last year it was all over...

A new addition to the Noblaie portfolio this year and one that we are really impressed with is its new sparkling rose called Mon Ange.

It comes under the heading of Appellation Touraine Mousseux - Jerôme Billiard took the time to explain how the wine is made.

Cabernet Franc grapes are whole bunch pressed and the wine is then partially fermented.  When there is  a little sugar left in the fermenting must, the wine is chilled, racked a couple of times and has a little sulphur added to stop it in its tracks before being bottled with a little additional yeast to kick-start the fermentation again.  This wine (the result of the 2009 vintage) is then aged on its yeasty deposit for a period of 30 months before being transported to Louis de Grenelle in Saumur which does the dégorgement on Noblaie's behalf.   A really beautiful delicate apricot colour it's a classy fizz with wonderful summer red and white fruit aromas and some yeasty complexity.  A bargain at 10€ cellar door. 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Angers market

Angers has a very good market in Place Lafayette on a Wednesday and Saturday morning.  More of a local's market than the massive one next to the Jardin du Mail, the produce is always fabulous. We went shopping with our clients this week and bought all the produce that we cooked for lunch the next day.

The French strawberries have come into season - Gariguette is my favourite variety

Beautiful artichokes - our neighbours lost a lot of theirs during the really cold spell this winter

Such vibrant colours - just makes you want to get on cooking