S5: Cholet to Chateauroux: Saumur Champigny Lieu-dit Les Vignoles 2005

Our first red, and we’re excited. Here’s some text about Alliance Loire and tonight’s specific bottle:

Created in 2002, Alliance Loire includes seven Loire valley cooperatives like Cave de Saumur and comprise 700 vignerons and 3,600 hectares of vines. Of particular interest is their range of wines called Lieu-dit. Each wine in this category comes from a single vineyard, the characteristics of which are noted on the bottle label. Lieu-dit Les Vignoles Saumur Champigny, a red made from Cabernet Franc, is a particularly good example.

We quite like it: our verdict: “A Sprinter!” Meaning that the best thing about this wine is the finish. It’s not bad overall, with a slight jamminess, but all the goodness is at the back of the palatte. We both get a bit of a chemical nose (charitably, “menthol”) and one of us tastes that as well. But the finish comes on fast and has a nice balance of mineral, tannin, and lunging across the line.

And like the Tour, Loire wines have their hype together:

The wine is a festive one best enjoyed and tasted between friends. No need to be an experienced “conoisseur” to apreciate its many qualities when drinking it .

Yep, that’s the English version of this wine’s website (crappy flash so the link doesn’t go right ther. Fine with us if you can’t spell appreciate in English, but “conoisseur”?

Also, a toast to the departed (for this year) Juan Mauricio Soler …
… and to Mark Cavendish and Team Columbia for the win.

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