Sunday, April 17, 2011

Two lovely Loire reds

We all have our own preferences as wine writers and one of mine - particularly at this time of year - is Loire reds. I just love the way that you can drink Cabernet Franc with almost anything from asparagus to (grilled) tuna and salads to roasts. Not to mention charcuterie and goats’ cheese . . .

Here are two I tried on Friday - both from Les Caves de Pyrène. The fascinating thing is that you can tell quite a lot about the style they’re made in from the labels.

Clos Roche Blanche Cuvée Pif 2010, C Roussel, D. Barrouillet, Touraine
12% £9.48
This, as the label, suggests, is the more classic of the two - although fruity it’s very lean, pure, mineral and even slightly stony. It’s a blend of Cab Franc and Cot but tastes slightly Gamayish. Most people, even non-natural wine drinkers, would feel comfortable with this. What does Pif mean? It’s named after the owners’ dog . . .

Anjou Pur Breton 2009, Olivier Cousin, Vin de Table Francais 13% £12.90
Biodynamic (approved by Demeter)
This is much funkier with vivid, ripe brambly, hedgerow fruit. Cousin apparently uses a horse to plough his vineyards, uses only indigenous yeasts and no chemical additions or sulphur. (There’s a very nice piece about him on the jenny & Francois blog here.

I found it a shade overripe on its own (my husband disagreed) but it was oddly good with a plate of garlicky seafood pasta. Needs carafing - I liked it much better once it had been decanted.

And here's another of the Clos Roche Blanche pets who followed us, dog-like, through the vineyards on our visit last October!

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