Centre-Loire Vineyard - Wine Appellations
Centre-Loire Vineyard - 11 AOC
The Centre-Loire Vineyard is one of the five wine-making regions of the Loire Valley Vineyard.
The Centre-Loire Vineyard spreads in the departments of Cher, Indre, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret and Vienne.
This region benefits from an oceanic climate with occasional continental influences.
The vines extract nutrients from a variety of soils consisting of siliceous pebbles, flint pebbles, sandy silt, sandstone and limestone.
The Centre-Loire Vineyard mostly produces wonderful white wines, but also reds and rosés.
The white wines are produced from Chasselas and Chardonnay; the red and rosé from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet sauvignon, Gamay, Pinot Noir and Côt.
These fine wines have superb mineral aromas and most will keep many years.
The most renowned wines of the Centre-Loire Vineyard are the Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.
The Centre-Loire Vineyard consists of 11 AOC wines:
Châteaumeillant, Côteaux du Giennois, Menetou-Salon, Orléans, Orléans-Cléry, Pouilly-Fumé, Pouilly-sur-Loire, Quincy, Reuilly, Sancerre and Valençay
Châteaumeillant are red and rosé wines essentially produced from Gamay - sometimes with some addition of Pinot Noir.
The 90-hectare vineyard grows on silica, sandy and clay soils.
It unflods over 7 municipalities located in the Indre and Cher, where it enjoys an oceanic climate.
Châteaumeillant was ranked as VDQS in 1965 and was granted an AOC in 2010.
1- The Châteaumeillant rouge has a ruby colour with purple hues.
This is a delicate wine, light with soft yet well established tannins that produce aromas of red fruits with spicy notes.
It keeps 5 years maximum and should be served at 15°C with roasted meats and cheese.
2- The Châteaumeillant rosé has a pale greyish salmon colour, and is a fresh, tonic, elegant and round wine with aromas of citrus and spicy notes.
It is excellent with charcuterie and should be served at 9°C.
Côteaux du Giennois
The Côteaux du Giennois is a 190ha vineyard located at the border of the Loiret and Nièvre.
It produces light and fruity red, pink and white wines that were granted an AOC in 1998.
It unfolds in 6 communities in Loiret and 8 in Nièvre, where it benefits from a temperate-oceanic climate.
1- The Côteaux du Giennois rouge is produced from Pinot noir and Gamay.
These two grape varieties produce a lovely intense garnet colour with violet hues.
It is a light and delicate wine with aromas of ripe red fruits, musk, leather and venison.
It should be served at 14°C with grilled meat and cheese.
2- The Côteaux du Giennois blanc is produced essentially from Sauvignon.
It is a crisp and pale yellow wine with green hues, and aromas of white fruits and citrus with hints of white flowers.
It is a round, light but lively wine with a mineral edge that is excellent with oysters and seafood.
It should be served at 8°C and drunk within 3 years.
3- The Côteaux du Giennois rosé has the same qualities as the red and the white.
This wine pale salmon-pink colour wine is light, round and fruity with aromas of red fruits and white fruit such as peach; it should be served at 10°C as aperitif.
The red, rosé and white Menetou-Salon wines were granted an AOC in 1959.
They are produced on a 500-hectare vineyard that unflods in 10 municipalities north of Bourges in the Cher.
The vines benefit from a temperate climate with oceanic influences.
They extract their nutrients from the limestone and marl soils.
The Menetou-Salon was already a trusted name in the 15th century.
It was indeed served at the table of King Charles VII.
The Menetou-Salon is, along with the Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre, one of the great wines of the Centre-Loire region!
1- The Menetou-Salon white is exclusively produced from Sauvignon blanc.
This grape variety thrives on this terroir and produces a wine of a great finesse and potential!
This white wine is crisp, clear and pale yellow with green hues.
It is delicate and fruity, with citrus and white flowers notes that develop into mint and spicy honey as the wine is left to decant.
This is a typical Sauvignon Blanc wine, bright and round with persistent aromas.
It should be served at 10°C with fish and goat cheese.
The great vintages should be kept 3 years in the cellar.
2- The Menetou-Salon rouge is slightly less elegant than the white.
However, it is still an excellent wine with aromas of red fruit aromas that evolve in venison, the aromatic characteristics of the Pinot noir grape variety.
It has fine, yet present tannins, with discrete notes of candied fruits.
It should be served at 16°C with game and can keep 5 years.
3- The Menetou-Salon rosé is a delicate and understated pale pink wine with a hint of grey (produced by the Pinot Noir).
This fine, round, light and sweet yet tonic wine has discreet aromas of white fruit.
It goes well with salads and simple dishes.
It should be served at 10°C.
Orléans are red, rosé and white wines produced from Pinot Meunier, Cabernets and Chardonnay grapes varieties.
These extract nutrients from the siliceous clay and gravel soils.
This 190ha vineyard unflods in 15 municipalities located around the city of Orléans in the Loiret.
The religious communities planted the vineyard during the High Middle-Ages.
The wine enjoyed constant reputation until the French Revolution when it was the 'official provider' of the City of Paris.
The vineyard was eventually replaced by cereal crops.
However, a group of local wine-makers replanted it several decades ago and obtained the AOC in 2006.
1- The Orléans rouge has a deep red colour and is a fresh, soft and round wine with aromas of red fruits and sweet spices with wooded notes.
It should be served at 13°C and is perfect for a summer pick-nick; it should, however, be drunk within 3 years of production.
2- The Orléans rosé is elegant, fresh, fruity and light and has a beautiful pale pink colour with aromas of tart red fruit with hints of mint and spices.
It should be served at 8°C as aperitif.
3- The Orléans blanc is pale yellow with green hues.
This is a fine, rich yet subtle wine with a nice freshness and aromas of white flowers, citrus, exotic fruits with wooded notes.
It should be served at 11°C with river fish and should be drunk young.
The Orléans-Cléry is produced in 5 municipalities located west of Orléans in the Loiret, where it enjoys a maritime climate.
This excellent red wine was granted an AOC in 2006.
It is 100% produced from the grape variety Cabernet Franc that grows on alluvium, siliceous pebbles, sand, flint pebbles, sandstone and limestone.
The combination terroir-single grape variety gives the wine its unique personality!
It is red with purplish hues.
It releases powerful aromas of red fruits such as currants and hints of spice and liquorice.
This is a full-bodied and dense wine with present tannins.
It should be kept about five years and served at 16°C with roasted meats and poultry.
The Pouilly-Fumé, one of the greatest white wines of the Loire and star wine of the Centre-Loire Vineyard.
This dry white wine is considered the best Sauvignon!
This 1300ha vineyard unfolds in 7 municipalities in Nièvre, where it enjoys a temperate climate with continental influences.
This prestigious vineyard was already a trusted name in the 5th century.
The Benedictine monks developed it in the early Middle Ages and it became the favourite wine of King Louis XI.
The Sauvignon thrive on the local soil of siliceous and flint pebbles, sand, silt, sandstone and limestone.
These give the wine its exceptional mineral qualities.
The name Fumé comes from the grey film that settles on the grapes as they reach maturity and confers the wine its typical smoky aromas of flint!
It is a pale but brilliant yellow wine with golden hues.
It is a very fine, lively, mineral and complex wine with wonderful notes of flint and incredible aromas of citrus.
These evolve into aromas of white fruits such as peach, sometimes exotic fruits or noble white flowers such as lilies as the wine matures.
The Pouilly Fumé is a wine of fine dining that should be served at 11°C with refined dishes such as smoked salmon.
Some vintages keep 15 years.
Pouilly-sur-Loire is an ancient and small vineyard of 40 hectares that unflods in 7 communities located between Nevers and Bourges in Nièvre.
This area enjoys a temperate climate with oceanic influences.
The vine grows on soils consisting of clay, limestone, flints and marl soil.
This terroir confers the wine its excellent mineral qualities.
The Pouilly-sur-Loire is a white wine 100% produced from Chasselas.
It was granted an AOC in 1937.
It is less known than its prestigious neighbour, Pouilly-Fumé, however, is an excellent value for money wine.
It has a very pale and clear yellow colour with a greenish hues and superb aromas of flint.
This is a light, crisp and fresh wine with notes of dried fruit, citrus and white fruit that should be drunk young.
It should be served at 10°C with seafood.
Some vintages keep over 5 years.
The Quincy is a superb dry white wine produced from Sauvignon.
This 255ha vineyard is located in Quincy and Brinay.
These two communities are situated northwest of Bourges in the Cher department.
The area enjoys an oceanic climate.
The sand and gravel soil gives the wine its incomparable finesse and mineral qualities.
The Quincy is a very pale with green hues wine, full and generous with a beautiful and harmonious structure.
It has delicate aromas of spice, ripe fruit with white flesh and occasional notes of honey.
It should be drunk young, however, can keep up to 5 years.
It should be served at 11°C and is excellent with seafood and goat cheese.
The Reuilly are red, rosé and white wines produced on a 204ha vineyard that unflods in 7 communities located 30km south of Vierzon in the Indre department.
This area enjoys an oceanic climate.
The vines grow on the south facing slopes of the Arnon and Théols Rivers.
The soils consist of marl, alluvium, sand, siliceous and flint pebbles, sandstone and limestone.
These wines were already highly appreciated in the Middle-Ages.
A 14th century charter was established at the instigation of Jean de Berry, the son of King John the Good, in order to regulate the production and sale of the wine from Reuilly.
The vineyard later fell into oblivion.
It was, however, replanted in the late 20th century.
The Reuilly red and rosé are produced from Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, the white from Sauvignon.
1- The Reuilly rouge has a ruby colour and subtle aromas of red fruit such as cherries.
This is a dense yet light and fruity wine that should be served at 16°C with river fish and roasted poultry.
Some vintages keep 4 years.
2- The Reuilly rosé has a delicate pale salmon colour with grey hues, and subtle aromas of fruits with yellow flesh.
This round, delicate, fresh and fruity wine should be served at 12°C with exotic dishes.
3- The Reuilly blanc is pale and clear with greenish hues with subtle aromas of flowers and mineral notes.
It is a soft, dense and generous yet dry and sharp wine with persistent aromas that should be drunk within 2 years of production.
It should be served at 12°C with fish and goat cheese.
Sancerre is a vineyard of nearly 2,800 hectares.
It produces white, red and rosé wines from Sauvignon (white) and Pinot Noir (red and rosé) and was granted an AOC in 1936.
It unfolds in 14 municipalities in the Cher department, a region that enjoys an oceanic climate.
The vines grow on various terroirs.
The western section consists of clay-limestone soils locally known as terres blanches (white land).
The eastern section consists of silt and siliceous soils; the rest of the vineyard grows on limestone or caillottes.
1- The Sancerre blanc is one of the great wines of the Loire, and star wine of the Centre-Loire Vineyard.
It has been a trusted name for centuries.
It was indeed introduced during the first wine competition organised in the 13th century by King Philip the Fair.
It is a very fine and bright wine with a beautiful structure, a shrill acidity and subtle aromas of citrus, flowers and minerals.
It has a nice pale colour enhanced with green hues.
It should be served at 11°C with seafood.
Some vintages can keep over 15 years.
2- The Sancerre rouge is less complex than the white but still a superb, very pleasant wine, light yet intense with integrated and silky tannins, and aromas of cherry.
It should be served at 14°C with roasted meats and poultry and keeps 5 years max.
3- The production of Sancerre rosé is very limited.
This pale wine has the colour of onion peel and aromas of citrus and fruits with yellow and white flesh.
It is a round, fresh and fruity wine that is ideal as an aperitif and should be served at 12°C.
This ancient vineyard developed centuries ago; it unfolds in 14 municipalities in Indre and Loir-et-Cher, a region that enjoys an oceanic climate.
The vines grow on flint, clay, sand and gravel.
The Valençay wines were granted an AOC in 2004 and are the latest addition to the long list of AOC wines of the Loire region.
The red and rosé Valencay are produced from Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernets and Côt, the white from Chardonnay, Arbois blanc and Sauvignon.
1- The Valencay rouge has a pale red colour with purple hues and subtle aromas of red fruits and spices.
It is a dense wine with a nice texture and fine tannins that should be served at 14°C with grilled red meats.
Some vintages keep more than 5 years.
2- The Valencay rosé is fruity, light, delicate and refreshing.
3- The Valencay white has a pale yellow colour with green hues and beautiful aromas of citrus, white flowers and exotic fruits.
It is a dense and harmonious wine with a lovely freshness and mineral qualities that should be served at 10°C; it is perfect with goat cheese.
Photos Wikimedia Commons: Resource - Côteaux du Giennois - Menetou-Salon vineyard - Sauvignon Blanc grape - Reuilly - Please remember to drink responsibly www.drinkaware.co.uk – L'abus d'alcool est dangereux pour la santé, à consommer avec modération - Resource Vin-Vigne