The Big Red Wine Company

Email      Call: 01638 510803

The Loire Valley

Pascal et Nicolas REVERDY

Along with thousands of other Brits, we have holidayed in the Loire Valley dozens of times over the years visiting the fabulous châteaux of the Touraine and the vineyards of Chinon, Bourgeuil, St Nicolas de Bourgeuil as well as those of Vouvray and the Côteaux du Layon. However, we only recently started to import Loire wines again and then only from the area known as the Central Vineyards, an area not nearly as pictureque as the Touraine, around Sancerre. These are the Loire Valley's greatest wines without doubt - it is the Sauvignons that produce the region's greatest dry white wines amd, increasingly, producers such as Pascal Reverdy are making world class Pinot Noirs.

The natural home of French Sauvignon Blanc is on the banks of the River Loire to the East of Bourges, where the Sancerre vineyards cover an area of around 2.350 hectares. Three types of soil predominate in the Sancerre region : - clay and limestone white soils, the "Terres Blanches", found in the hills furthest west. - Pebbly limestone soils, known locally as the "Caillottes" and cilicious-clay soils, underlying the hills further east. In "La Nièvre" on the left side of the River Loire, facing Sancerre, the Sauvignon is planted on very varied grounds where dominate marls and compact limestones. This is the vineyard of Pouilly-Fumé. A third, lesser-known, vineyard completes the picture: the small (330 hectare) vineyard of Menetou-Salon overlooks the town of Bourges.

A confession: we are not afficionados of Loire wines, finding Cabernet Franc too green and Chenin too cloying (sweet wines excepted). From the Central Vineyard region, most Pinot Noir we have tasted has been inconsequential and Sauvignon too cordial like. Not so the wines of Pascal Reverdy. Balance and poise are words which could have been created with these in mind. His Sancerre Blancs are the only Sauvignons we can enjoy a whole bottle of in one evening - that's really saying something - and his Pinots are simply lovely, including his rose (you won't often find me writing something like that!)/