There seems to be increasing evidence that the Loire Valley is producing ever better Sauvignon Blanc wines – especially from the Touraine (south of Tours) and east towards Sancerre (which is technically from the “Centre”, but is nevertheless in the valley of the river Loire!) There is a significant area from the southern Touraine eastwards to the appellations of Quincy, Reulilly and Menetou-Salon, which consistently produce some of the most exciting Sauvignons and at reasonable prices. Whether this is due to climate change, or more likely improved techniques in the vineyard and cellar is a moot point.

If it is climate change, then this may cause a little concern, as the best Sauvignon Blancs are cool climate wines – so maybe England may come into the reckoning in another 10-20 years!

Touraine Sauvignon from Joel DelaunayI confess to being a little cynical about Wine Awards – there are so many awards that it ends up a bit like Google searches – you know that just because a wine is at the top of the list does not necessarily mean that it is in any objective sense the best – but also how many of us bother to read the results on the 3rd,4th or lower pages, which just might hide the “nugget” which is what you are looking for.

However a quick skim of the International Wine Challenge results 2008 did reveal an old favourite – a wine which I first imported over 10 years ago – Domaine Joel Delaunay’s Touraine Sauvignon 2007.Domaine Joel Delaunay is situated on the valley sides above the river Cher – a small family run domaine, which always offers a warm welcome.

Majestic are offering their Domaine Joel Delaunay 2007 Touraine Sauvignon AC“Rich, steely Sauvignon just bursting with gooseberry fruit, from a superb small grower.” and it won a Gold Medal in this year’s Wine Awards.

Other examples of great Loire valley whites include another Touraine Sauvignon from Domaine Octavie at Oisly, and the wines of Michel Gendrier at Domaine des Huards in Cour-Cheverny.

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