Top 10 Loire Valley Wine Producers
Bernard Chéreau’s almost salty wines come from organically farmed vines, some more than 100 years old.
A Bottle to Try: 2013 Château L’oiselinière De La Ramée ($14)
Domaine Michel Brégeon
Since the ’70s, Michel Brégeon has been fermenting wines on the lees (spent yeast) for many months, even years, imparting extraordinary depth.
A Bottle to Try: 2012 Domaine Michel Brégeon ($18)
Domaine de Bellevue
Jérôme Bretaudeau is hyper-experimental, even working with grapes other than Melon de Bourgogne, like Merlot, and fermenting wine in a concrete egg.
A Bottle to Try: 2013 Domaine de Bellevue ($16)
Domaine de la Fruitière
The Gneiss de Bel Abord bottling has surprising strawberry notes. Granite soils give it an intense mineral edge.
A Bottle to Try: 2013 Domaine De La Fruitière Gneiss De Bel Abord ($14)
Domaine de la Pépière
Marc Ollivier makes his flagship Clos des Briords from a single vineyard of 60-year-old vines.
A Bottle to Try: 2013 Domaine De La Pépière Clos Des Briords ($20)
Domaine de L’écu
Fred Niger Van Herck purchased this estate from Guy Bossard, a biodynamic producer revered for his soil-specific bottlings. Niger Van Herck honors that legacy.
A Bottle to Try: 2012 Domaine De L’écu Gneiss ($23)
Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin
Over the past few years, Luneau-Papin has been releasing older vintages (1999, 2001) that show off Muscadet’s remarkable ageability.
A Bottle to Try: 2013 Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin Pierre De La Grange ($15)
Gabbro is a bluish volcanic rock that produces pure, focused wines. Delhommeau is lucky to have 69 acres planted in gabbro.
A Bottle to Try: A bottle to try:2012 Michel Delhommeau Cuvée St Vincent ($11)
Domaine De La Louvetrie
A leader in the biodynamics movement in the Loire, Jo Landron produces Muscadets that run the gamut from zippy to deep.
A Bottle to Try: 2012 Domaine De La Louvetrie Amphibolite Nature ($16)
Domaine Claude Branger
Claude Branger and his son Sébastien are working to have their vines certified organic by 2016.
A Bottle to Try: 2013 Domaine Claude Branger Le Fils Des Gras Moutons ($14)