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Loire

Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux as well as its diverse variety of wines...

Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux as well as its diverse variety of wines, the picturesque Loire valley produces elegant and underrated red, white, and rosé as well as sparkling and sweet wines. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the center of France to the Atlantic coast. Geography and climate differ greatly along the Loire’s vast length. Furthest inland, the climate is continental, becoming classically maritime as it reaches the ocean. Accordingly, the Loire Valley is perhaps the most diverse wine-producing region in France—this region does a little bit of everything, and it does it all quite well.

The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire is focused on acidic, saline whites that beg for fresh seafood. Muscadet, made from the Melon de Bourgogne variety, is the most noteworthy appellation here. The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur, and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc reaches its zenith, producing outstanding dry and sweet wines reminiscent of crisp apples dipped in honey. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay, and Malbec (known locally as Côt). The Upper Loire is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.

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  • Clau de Nell Grolleau 2013
    Other Red Wine from Loire, France
    • W&S90
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Domaine Chancelle Saumur-Champigny 2015
    Cabernet Franc from Saumur, Loire, France
    • W&S91
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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  • Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grezeaux 2014
    Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
    • W&S94
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Domaine Grosbois Chinon Clos du Noyer 2012
    Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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