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2007 Château Gaudrelle Vouvray Sec

Clear, light gold color. Clean, medium intensity nose with honey, floral, apple, and pear aromas. Dry, medium body, medium-high acidity, soft citrus, green apple, and stone fruit. Vouvray is produced in four levels of sweetness: Sec, Demi-Sec, Moelleux, Doux. In terms of residual sugar, that left in solution after the wine is finished with fermentation, they can range from 0 grams per litre up to 45 (4.5%). Though people might associate these smells, or even the tastes with "sugar" these wines are not always actually sweet. That said, they pair very well with richly flavored dishes with similarly concentrated characteristics. Read more wine reviews on my blog, oe•no•phile.
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2004 Yannick Amirault Bourgueil La Coudraye

What a difference a couple of years can make. When I originally bought a bottle of the 2004 La Coudraye by Yannick Amirault, an acclaimed vigneron from the Loire Valley, this natural-yeast fermented cabernet franc was a pretty tightly wound thing. So much so that it was a little difficult to enjoy, as a fair bit of tannin stuck to your teeth and the aromas struggled to break free. Now, as the 2007 has become the current release, the 2004 has opened up nicely, showing up a nice dose of slowly-cooked, sweet red bell peppers, still structured by tannins that have, however, become much smoother as the wine has calmed down a bit. Not terribly complex, but well balanced and worth the price. Went down nicely with some thick, juicy pork chops served with gnocchi and green beans.
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The Sparkling Loire

With great pricing, cool and attractive packaging, and deliciously drinkable wine, I'm still in a quandary why the Loire sparkling wine category as a whole is so overshadowed. Perhaps it's just the dictates of fashion, and their time to shine again is just around the corner.