Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pinot Noir de la Loire

I trust you'll all forgive me for taking a short break from Piedmont coverage. Since I returned home, I've been mixing things up a good bit (not a drop of Nebbiolo yet!) and thought I'd put in a good word for a truly pretty red from the Upper Loire that crossed my table earlier this week.

With apologies to the label designer and M. Boulay, those blasted oversized bottles (this isn't one of them) really do a number on other bottles' labels when they're squeezed into cellar bins that were never meant to accommodate their impressive girth.

Sancerre Rouge, Gérard Boulay 2007
$27. 13% alcohol. Cork. Importer: A Thomas Calder Selection, Potomac Selections, Landover, MD.
When last I wrote about Gérard Boulay, I mentioned that startlingly little information is available on the web regarding the man and his wines. Given that, perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise that my write-up of his '06 Sancerre rouge has proven to be one of the most frequently stumbled upon posts here at MFWT over the last year. I popped a bottle of his '07 Sancerre rouge a few days back and, though it may not have been quite so vividly fine as the '06, it was immensely pleasurable. Full of oh-so-pretty red fruit (sweet, with just the slightest suggestion of tart) and lively acidity, surprisingly forward yet finishing with a delectable nuance of bright minerality. Very food friendly and very, very approachable, it's hard to pass up right now though I suspect it will also prove interesting with a few years of rest in the cellar.

The title of today's post includes an intentional play on words on my part. Rhyming aside, it's meant to evoke the name of what's arguably the Loire's greatest wine grape, Chenin Blanc, which is locally known as Pineau de la Loire.

Though it will come as no surprise to many of you that are well versed in the lore of the Loire, as a wine retailer, I meet wine lovers everyday, at a variety of interest and knowledge levels, who are stunned to find that such a thing as red (and/or rosé) Sancerre exists. When, in answer to the inevitable question, I tell them it's produced from Pinot Noir, the response is most often one of pleasant surprise. And the most common question: what's it like?

Well, I don't sell this one but, if I did, my response should be obvious from the quick description above. Delicious. While it's considerably more expensive here on the east coast than on the west, Gérard Boulay's version is still a sound value at its price point in the $30 range, and very much worth seeking out.


bill l said...

not a drop of nebbiolo? are you sure?

David McDuff said...

Um, no? You caught me being forgetful. It totally slipped my mind that a Barolo was in the mix during our last tasting session. Thanks!

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