Watch JC introduce the Loire Valley

Date: 15-04-2020

The Loire Valley is a land of natural beauty, stunning castles and of course, wonderful wines.  Chenin Blanc is one of the great grapes of the region, thriving in many appellations along the river: Vouvray, Jasnières and Savennières.

Vouvray is famous for its chalky soil, known as tuffeau, which gives the wine a lively freshness, softness with a crystalline minerality.  I like to have this as an apéritif with some smoked salmon.

Jasnières is a tiny appellation, there’s only 65 hectares. Though only 45 kilometress to the north of Vouvray, it is a different world, with a much more rural setting.  The appellation sits on the right bank of the river Loir (not a typo!), which eventually flows into the Loire. The clay and silex (flint) rich soils give a great tension and precision to the wines.  Enjoy with fish or goat’s cheese.

Savennières sits on an unusual mix of schist and volcanic soils, giving the wines amazing intensity with a laser-like intensity.  The top examples can age for many years. The locals like to enjoy these with fresh water fish white meat with creamy sauce.

Discover our new arrivals : 

Domaine de la Bellivière – Natural Wines

Eric & Christine Nicolas with their son Clement are the reference point for this area of the Loire. They show the potential of these forgotten terroirs, using uncompromising viticulture and simple but meticulous vinification. Particularly sought after by sommeliers worldwide the wines have a remarkable aromatic refinement and are must haves for all Chenin connoisseurs.

Arches de Bellivière Confluence 2018  $45

A fantastic introduction to the Belliviere style – crisp, energetic and dry.

Bellivière Jasnières “Les Rosiers” sec 2018 $62

23g/l residual with incredible acidity and tension. The flinty clay over limestone soils give palate staining minerality, a great wine.

Bellivière Coteaux du Loir “L’Effraie” 2018 $58

21g/l residual, a cooler more reserved style than the Jasnières with a saline freshness and immense depth behind. Wow!


Domaine Baumard – The Stelvin King

A brilliant winemaker, Florent Baumard fashions some of the world’s most complex dry and sweet wines in the sleepy village of Rochefort-sur-Loire. He created waves when in 2006 he announced he was changing to screwcaps for all his wines. Here in NZ this is normal but in France then it was heresy and even today reluctantly accepted. Wonderful wines that showcase how good Chenin is.

Baumard Crémant de Loire “Carte Turquoise” Brut  $31

Methode Champenoise that punches well above its price point.

Baumard Savennières “Clos St Yves” 2017 $53

Fantastic site sandwiched between Clos du Papillon and Roche aux Moines will age effortlessly.

Baumard Coteaux du Layon “Carte d’Or” 2017 375ml $22.50

Late harvest Chenin with around 100g/L residual that tastes of pure fruit.


Domaine Champlou – Vouvray

Catherine and Didier Champalou, and now daughter Celine are the sort of passionate dedicated vignerons we love.  After starting with 1.8ha in 1984 they now have 20ha and are in the top echelon of producers in Vouvray. Brilliant wines with amazing texture.

Champalou Vouvray Brut  $38

Creamy style sparkling with wonderful mouthfeel.

Champalou Vouvray 2018 $35

Classic dry Vouvray, crisp apple and pear fruit, young but very drinkable.

Champalou Vouvray demi-sec “Cuvée Fondraux” 2018  $38.50

A JC favourite, 16g/L residual with unbelievable depth and concentration, great potential.