Last week, InterLoire, the interprofessional body for Loire wines announced that 18 wines from AOC Touraine and Vins de Pays du Val de Loire 2011 vintage had been selected as “Ambassador wines” for this year’s Sauvignon Blanc de Loire project.
The selection tasting last month was led by project consultant Sam Harrop MW. The criteria for selection is based not just on quality. Panel members are asked to select those wines which they consider have the best commercial chances of success in the British market. This year’s panel participants were UK wine journalists Tim Atkin MW, Charles Metcalfe and Jamie Goode and wine consultant Annette Scarfe.
Eighteen 2011 vintage wines were selected, compared with 28 from the 2010 vintage , 23 from the 2009 vintage and 29 from the 2008 vintage (the first year of the project). However, it would appear that, in the difficult 2011 vintage, fewer wines were submitted since Harrop commented:
“The percentage of 2011 Ambassadors selected from the wines entered was very similar to last year, when we were looking at the easier 2010 vintage. Most winemakers coped very well this year, and some fantastic wines were produced – confirmation that, with more technical knowledge and understanding of the UK market’s needs, producers in the Loire are seeing much greater consistency in quality from one vintage to the next. Good news for retailers and sommeliers.”
Here’s the list of this year’s Sauvignon Blanc de Loire Ambassadors from the 2011 vintage (and for comments on this tricky vintage, click here).
IGP / Vin de Pays du Val de Loire
Domaine Auguste Bonhomme, cuvée Jean de La Roche
Caves du Haut Poitou, cuvée Brumes de Loire
Vignerons de la Vallée du Cher, cuvée La Marinière
Château de Fresne
Ackerman, cuvée Ackerman
Henri Bourgeois, cuvée Petit Bourgeois
AOP /AOC Touraine
Domaine Octavie, cuvée Prestige d’Octavie
Domaine de la Renne, cuvée l’Expression
Domaine des Corbillières
Domaine de La Renaudie
Domaine Joël Delaunay
Domaine Pré Baron, cuvée L’Elégante
Domaine Pré Baron, cuvée Domaine Pré Baron
Complices de Loire, cuvée Pointe d’Agrumes
Domaine Villebois, cuvée Villebois Prestige
Alpha Loire Domaines, cuvée Domaine de La Croix Bouquie
SCEA Les Hauts Lieux, cuvée Domaine Guenault