Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Day 30 - Touraine...

Well, today has been a pretty good day.... except for one small niggly thing... I've had the theme tune of Quincy MD going around and around and around my head all day.... Only because I decided to visit the village of Quincy this morning..... I decided to visit it and Reuilly before moving on to the 'Touraine' section of the Loire Valley.

Quincy does have a wine centre, the Villa Quincy, but without communication, it closes on Tuesdays, so I had a brief wander round the village and then hopped in the car for the short drive to Reuilly.

I didn't manage to taste any wines in Reuilly either, though I did have the opportunity to view their little wine museum and also an exhibition of local artists...
It seems to be a town which very much encourages the talents of its sons and daughters, one in particular, Paul Surtel was particularly impressive. Though born in Reuilly, he spent much of his adult life in and around Orange.
The museum, while small..... and not a patch on the sophisticated offerings of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé was obviously put together with love and pride...
Outside Reuilly museum

Map of the Loire valley (Reuilly on right (east))

Back in the car, and although a sunny day, there was a very fresh breeze, so the top stayed up, which was a shame, but I had timed it that I would drive west to Touraine, Amboise in particular, over the lunch break (when everything is shut!). By the time I reached Amboise, the breeze had died down and it was just sunny and warm, so perfect to explore the very beautiful town:

And as I looked up... that's what I saw!

I did go up to see the Château Royal d'Amboise because I had read that it was where Leonardo da Vinci was buried and had spent his last years....
Bust of Leonardo da Vinci, with Cedar of Lebanon in the background.

The château itself was big, and only a fifth of its original size, and they had installed some furnishings to represent those used by the owners in bygone years...
I was hoping for some spiel on Leo.... none, so for my part, it was a very beautiful castle, but its most spectacular feature was its location, and the associated views over the Loire and the surrounding countryside.
West along the Loire

And eastwards...

At the foot of the château was the Caveau des Vignerons d'Amboise, so I stopped to taste some wine:
  1. AOC Touraine Amboise 2007 - Domaine de la Prevôté (white) - This 100% Chenin Blanc wine had a floral, slightly raisin, slightly elderflower nose and similarly a blossomy, elderflower with a hint of citrus flavour on the palate.
  2. AOC Touraine Amboise 2009 - Domaine de la Prevôté (white) - This time Sauvignon Blanc - a bit minerally, a bit floral, more citrus than the 1st on the nose with very subtle citrus flavours..... maybe a tad herbaceous.
  3. AOC Touraine Amboise 2009 - Domaine Mesliand (rosé) - This was a Cabernet Franc, Cot (aka Malbec), Gamay blend made by the saignée method to give a slightly salmon pink wine with aromas of raspberries and a little strawberry and a taste of raspberries, strawberries and maybe very sweet pink grapefruit.
  4. AOC Touraine Amboise 2009 - Catroux Bernard (red) - Another Cabernet Franc/Cot/Gamay blend with a nose of cherries and slight sweetness, like strawberry jam. On the palate it was 'red fruit' and then tannins - for me, it was just too young.
  5. AOC Touraine Amboise 2008 - Domaine des Poupelines - Cuvée François 1er (red) - Nose of red and black cherries, plum jam even and to taste the same red fruit flavours with tannins. For me, better than the last, but still a little young to be drinking.
  6. AOC Touraine Amboise 2008 - Domaine Mesliand - "La Besaudière" (red) - This time just a Cabernet Franc/Cot blend giving a slightly leathery black fruit aroma and similarly black fruits flavours in the mouth, and again tannins.
I was very impressed by the white Chenin Blanc..... It's a grape I don't tend to like as it's usually very perfumey, but this is the white grape of this area and they know how to treat it, so I wouldn't say no in the future to Chenin Blancs from here.
I left Amboise and made the short journey to Vouvray, this time with the top down as it had become very sunny. I stopped off at the Caves des Producteurs de Vouvray to have a little more wine....
  1. AOC Vouvray 2009 - Le Javeline - An off-dry STILL 100% Chenin Blanc white with a peach blossom nose and flavours of white peach, sweet apples and slightly floral.
  2. AOC Vouvray 2007 - Lieu Dit "Les Fosses d'Hareng" (white Chenin Blanc, still) - Floral and Pear aromas, slight minerality with a really fresh pear flavour, with slight blossom notes.
  3. AOC Vouvray 2008 - Confidence - This 100% Chenin Blanc white was aged in oak for 10 months and represents a still, sweet Vouvray. On the nose, peaches, honey and a touch of vanilla. To taste, lush peaches and baked apples.
  4. AOC Vouvray 2007 - Tête de Cuvée Millésimée Brut - A sparkling wine made in the traditional way like Champagne although from Chenin Blanc grapes, giving it the same floral white peach aromas, though with the yeastiness characteristic of sparkling wines and similarly to taste: floral, nectarine flavours with yeast. The bubbles were a mite too pin-prickly on the tongue for my liking.
  5. AOC Vouvray 2007 - Tête de Cuvée Millésimée Demi Sec - On the nose, subtle elderflower and briôche aromas and to taste apricots, a little blossom and yeastiness, but with much more pleasant moussey bubbles.
Well, after all that wine, it was time to call it a night..... A really stunning drive with the Loire beside me took me to my bed for the night.... A little disappointing, so wouldn't recommend.

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