Domaine du Parc – Daheron

Loire valley wines are not to be missed, starting around 3-5 euros a bottle they represent good value although the reds command a little more. Around ten to fifteen buys Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé or Chemin des Murs from Chateau de Parnay all well worth trying with Quarts de Chaume near Rochefort-sur-Loire probably the most prestigous. Of the reds the Cabernet Franc from Chateau Langlois is pretty good too.

Located near the village of Rocheservière, Sylvie and Gaël run Domaine du Parc which produces an extensive range of classic Pays de la Loire wines under their Daheron label. Their wines are mainly Vin de Pays du Val de Loire Blanc/Rose/Rouge IGP – The IGP standing for “Indication Géographique Protégée” with a few Méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines as the well. The majority of them are rather good with a few really excellent ones that our friends we have introduced to Daheron also enjoy.

Notable mentions and several gold medal awards to:
Chardonnay – Un oaked, very fine and a favourite.
Grolleau Gris – An extremely versatile excellent wine, can be drunk with spicy food and the only one I’ve ever enjoyed with curry – which is often the simplest way to ruin a good red!
Grolleau Rose – A superb blush rose, a lovely delicate wine and perfect aperitif.
Sauvignon – One of the best sauvignons I’ve ever drunk and worthy gold medal winner.
Muscadet – A Loire classic for sea food everyone knows.

Their boxes also offer good value with Sauvignon blanc, Grolleau Rose and the  Merlot rouge very well worth trying and slightly cheaper ‘en vrac’.

Further information and prices here

Daheron – Domain du Parc are open every weekdays and shut for lunch, theres a ‘Portes Ouvertes’ usually the last two saturdays of March which is well worth a visit.  The full range of wines is available to try and there’s a selection of local producteurs selling: oysters, bread, cheese, foie gras and pate, along with a help yourself table.

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Daheron Domain du Parc is located here at:
9 Le Parc, 44650 Corcoué-sur-Logne Tel: 02 40 05 86 11
Open weekdays and like everywhere in France, they shut for lunch so please check on their website or call before you visit.

Sadly, one of our favourite wines XL Blanc a perfect Semillion Blanc is no longer made. Its replacement – Inspiration, does not inspire at all – it doesn’t cut it being somewhat insipid and best avoided. Theres almost no bouquet and it doesn’t taste right but despite long discussions with the producteurs they insist its selling well and have no plans to make XL Blanc again 🙁

However, ALL our friends agree with us and we intend to keep pestering them. Bring back XL BLANC – Please!

Chateau Roumieu and Chateau Jouvente

Just a short distance from the very famous Chateau Y’quem lies Chateau Roumieu – an excellent Sauternes, the estate has about 28 hectares and also produces a small amount of Chateau Jouvente under the Graves appellation. The two appear to be separate entities but are actually produced on the same estate – here.

The chateau being just 5Km from Barsac, benefits from the mist which rises from the river Ciron to produce the Botrytis cinerea or Noble rot which is desirable for producing the best Sauternes styled wine.

Noble rot is present in the better years such as 1997, 2001, 2007, 2009, 2010-irregular, 2014-some and 2015 which are complex, but in some there is little or none: 1992, 2004. But wines from other years are not to be missed as the growers have to lower the price a little!

Sauternes requires about four times the amount of grapes to any other wine hence the elevated price, but at around 17 euros a bottle, Ch Roumieu is a bargain its’ closest at the price is the Sauternes from Clos Bourgelat. Good Sauternes starts at around 30 Euros a bottle and I’ve not tasted anything at that price that convincingly betters it.

The Jouvente is very good, but our last tasting failed to impress, their bottles may have been open a little too long. A freshly opened bottle on return for dinner at Domain Valmont completely different and set the record right as it is a very good wine. So please go and find out, Jouvente is a classic well made Graves and not to be missed and the Roumieu is a wonderful Sauternes so you won’t be disappointed!

Roumieu is best drunk with foie gras or as an aperitif at around 8-10 degrees, I prefer older wine slightly warmer say 10- 11 degrees, but a fridge is too cold and it will not be at its best. Cool it in a bucket of well water and it should be fine. It also goes quite well with summer pudding but I avoid drinking it with sweet deserts, its just too much – the only exceptions being mince pies or christmas pudding with which it’s simply amazing.

Their web sites are here:
Chateau Roumieu
Chateau Jouvente

Further information on wine searcher:
Chateau Roumieu
Chateau Jouvente

Chateau Castel Viaud – Lalande de Pomerol

Chateau Castel Viaud is a modest affair of 18 hectares with some very good wines of the Lalande Pomerol appellation. On entering the village from the Libourne direction, carry straight on at the roundabout passing the Mairie on the left – they are about 100 metres on the left along Rue des Annereaux.

Surprisingly it is open on a Sunday or it was last time we went there.

It’s a family run chateau their two main wines are:
1. An oak aged ‘eleve en futs de chene’ Lalande de Pomerol
2. Traditional Lalande de Pomerol which is un oaked so less tannin and very smooth
There is also a second wine: Eymard which I have yet to taste.

Their Lalande de Pomerols age extremely well, having kept them for a few years I’m undecided which I prefer, perhaps the un oaked by a whisker however, they are both excellent Lalande de Pomerols and well worth trying.

They also produce a Merlot which might be made with grapes from other estates as its not mentioned on their web site, be assured it’s a very good Merlot.

Castel Viaud is here and also have a website here

Further information on Wine Searcher

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