Five years on from the credit crunch, it’s heartening to see the independent wine sector go from strength to strength. On my own doorstep, Borough Wines has just opened its fifth branch in Stoke Newington – hurrah!
So far, I’ve tasted a couple of Loire wines new to me – both excellent. The packaging of Cep by Cep Soli Terre Saumur Blanc rather gave the game away – it’s made by Thierry Germain of Domaine des Roches Neuves, a favourite producer. However, Gitton Père & Fils are a wholly new proposition and their mature (2007) Sancerre Rouge, Les Herses, caught my eye. Here are my notes:
Cep by Cep Soli Terre Saumur Blanc 2011
I’ve followed Thierry Germain’s journey with Insolite Chenin Blanc (from Domaine des Roches Neuves) and, like Insolite’s latest, rakish incarnations, with its hints of citrus peel, Soli Terre is a ripe and honeyed, yet wonderfully streamlined, mouthwatering Chenin. Fresh, grapefruity acidity and sucking stones minerality make for a long, precise finish. Great verve and penetration – another great example of why Chenin is the Chardonnay for Riesling lovers! £19.50 at Borough Wines
Gitton Père & Fils Sancerre Rouge Les Herses 2007
Earlier this year I tasted a dozen or so Sancerre Blancs – Sauvignon Blancs – from silex soil (click here for my report). Wines from grapes grown on this flinty soil are often characterised by a firmness and precision, sometimes smoky gunflint too. This wonderfully mature, expressive Pinot Noir from old vines (planted 1943-60) is possessed of all three qualities and, while the fruit is bright and cassis-like, the Loire’s cool climate stamp is also present in its attractive hint of hedgerow, blackcurrant bud and tobacco. Mature Pinot damp earth too. Ripe but present tannins and a whisp and wash of smoky, mineral acidity make for a fine, clean finish. À point. £16 at Borough Wines