Andrew Guard

2018 Coteaux du Loir 'Rouge-Gorge', Domaine de Bellivière

Rouge Gorge or "red throat" is named in honor of a small finch that appears in the vineyards in the springtime. This rare red is made from the very rare and interesting Pinot d'Aunis, a grape that has the aromatic mystique and perfume of the Bazaars and Souks of the old orient. Rose, pepper, smoke, licorice, tobacco....enchanting and it is sad that only 40 hectares remain in the Loire today. This is cherry red with very attractive aromas of pepper, musk and five spice overlapped with cherry and damson. As always it is crisply fruited and buoyant in the mouth where it dances around joyously. This very rare wine will cellar for up to 10 years but is extremely attractive young for it's vibrancy and attack.

Jasnières and it's neighbour Coteaux du Loir are tiny appellations 25 miles north of Tours on the smaller Loir River in the central part of France's Loire Valley. Both appellations produce delicious dry white wines exclusively from Chenin Blanc. The wines are rare, and in the case of Eric Nicolas, amongst the greatest white wines produced in the Loire Valley. This is indeed an incredible source of wine.

These are hand made wines in the extreme. Eric has established himself, however as the point of reference in this part of the valley and commands a serious and sincere domestic following, particularly among the sommelier fraternity.