Thursday, July 12, 2007

2004 Marc Bredif Vouvray

I promised more whites and more Loire wines, so tonight's post deals with both. In the New World, the Loire Valley wines are more of a curiousity. Surprising, as the Loire is France's third largest producer of wine and its leading producer of white wines. (It is also France's leading producer of AOC sparkling wines - who knew?) But here is the key statistic - only 20% of production is exported, with 40% shipped to the U.K. and 20% sent to Belgium (mussels?). This leaves only 8% of Loire wine ever having a chance to make it to North America. Once you slice the numbers some more, I am pretty sure it is all ending up in Brooklynguy's cellar.

Oh, the sommeliers know them, but it seems to me that consumers over here have not yet taken to them. Perhaps this is due to the complexity - its 63 Appelations (AOCs) produce reds, whites, roses and sparklers from a wide variety of grapes - Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Loire), Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay (Auvernat), Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and a number of other varieties.

When faced with such a dizzying array of combinations, I have tried to focus on knowing a few appelations (Loire for Dummies):

Vouvray (Chenin Blanc)
red Chinon (Cabernet Franc)
white Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc)
Pouilly Fume (Sauvignon Blanc)
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine (Muscadet)

With that info and the names of a few good winemarkers, you are all set to dive into Loire wines.

Tonight's Loire white 2004 Marc Brédif Vouvray. It is obviously not a difficult wine to find, as I see some of my fellow bloggers have posted on this one as well. I haven't had a Vouvray in a little while, and it seemed the perfect pairing for tonights' shrimp linguine in a simple, lemon-based sauce. Pale gold in hue with a lovely minerally nose, it showed scents of apricot, banana and fresh cut grass. It was slightly off dry and minerally, almost chalky, on the palate. Medium bodied with flavours of banana, it was very elegant with nice balance and great acidity. Drink now - an excellent summer white and a great pairing with the shrimp.
12% alcohol
Score: 16.5/20
Price: C$20 (SAQ)


Anonymous said...

Hey Joe - if only it were true! there is so much Loire wine on my wishlist, it's not even funny. Sounds like the Bredif was a good one. He is better known for sweet wines, i believe, from Coteaux de Loire. They can get expensive, but not compared to Sauternes. Are you into dessrt wines?

Joe said...

Hi Brooklyn. I have to confess I am still exploring the Loire, so I suspect my notes and scores will be all over the place for a little bit. I love desert wines (I love ALL wine, actually - white, red, rose, sparkler, new world, old world, desert, etc.) but I don't often have the opportunity (occasion) to open one - and if I do I haven't been taking notes (I often have them after dinner at a restaurant). I started buying half bottles, which should lead to more consumption. Please let me know of any finds in the 'sticky' section. Cheers!

2GrandCru said...

Is this wine usually off-dry? I had the 2003 a couple of months ago and it was textbook dry. Not only that, but Israeli wine law requires each bottle sport a back label describing the wine, among other things its measured sweetness -- and the Bredif, Vouvray, 2003 is described as dry. The Israeli Wine Institute, whos' in charge of testing the wines, is too strict for my tastes. Most Alsace and German wines are at least off-dry according to them, no matter how how dry my palate finds them.

Joe said...

Hi 2GrandCru. It is a matter of perspective, I think. I grew up on New World bone dry whites, so I tend to describe the dry Alsace and Loire as ever so slightly off dry. I should be more clear with that in the future - thanks for picking that up. I guess I really mean 'bone dry'. The "Riche" that I tasted more recently is off-dry, so yes, this one in comparison is dry. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I visited the Marc Bredif winery on a trip to France in 1999, and have enjoyed their Vouvray ever since. They also make Bredif Brut, a sparkling Vouvray that is lovely. BTW, the winery itself is charming. Carved into the cliffs above the Loire river, the winery has been making wines since the late 1800's. A nice stop if you're ever touring the Loire Valley. Sally

Joe said...

Hi Sally. Thanks for the tips. Bredif is widely available, so I will look for that Brut. I nearly took the family there this year, but we went to Paris/Normandy/Champagne instead. Perhaps next summer.
Cheers! and thanks for stopping by.

Edward said...


Friday afternoon and I am at work, doing some hard core research on what to drink for dinner tonight! Looking at a restaurant wine list and I see they have the Bredif Brut. I've tried lots of the straight Bredif, but none of the Brut. So a quick google search and your top of the list!

Hope you're well.

Joe said...

Hi Ed - it's sad to say that my '07 posts are nearly "current" - all is well here, and I am back on schedule!