Virtual Wine Tasting - Loire and Rhône Valleys with Shropshire Wine School

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Virtual Wine Tasting - Loire and Rhône Valleys with Shropshire Wine School

The wines to go with the excellent course from Shropshire wine school starting Saturday 26th January 2022. For more details please see the link below. The wines and the tastings are purchased separately.

 Virtual Wine Tasting - Loire and Rhône Valleys : Shropshire Wine School - Wine Tasting Shropshire, Wine Courses Shropshire, WSET Courses Shropshire & Corporate Wine Events from Shropshire Wine School (

Gary Carter explains the wines and the format:

Our second “Wine Wednesday” virtual event of 2022 sees us compare two famous, but very different valleys in France; the Loire and the Rhône

Join us for 4 weeks of superb, top-quality wines, accompanied as ever by explanations of why the wine tastes the way it does, plenty of maps and pictures and of course some friendly banter with like-minded people, all from the safety and comfort of your own home. 

If you’re new to Virtual tastings, they work like this – place your order for the event at the bottom of this page and then hop over to the wine merchant, in this case Frazier’s of Solihull, to order your wines (we do not sell wine and are completely independent).  Your wines will be delivered direct to your door and away you go!

All the Zoom sessions are recorded and you will receive the presentation and Zoom recording after each week, so you can watch it all again, also great if you miss a week.

Week 1 - Wednesday 26th January

We start our Loire exploration at the end next to the Ocean with a Muscadet.  A fresh, crisp, dry, light wine that is best served cool with a good persistence of flavour. Sur lie means on the lees, giving the wine a more intense of flavour than a straight Muscadet.

Next up we travel to the centre of the Loire wine region to sample the local speciality red variety, Cabernet Franc from Chinon.  Its name is evocative of the plump black-cherry fruit in this healthy ripe vintage. Will develop in bottle but its bright fruit and well-managed tannins make it approachable now.

  • Muscadet Fief de la Brie Sur Lie AC 2020 Retail Price £11.95
  • Chinon AC Les Temps des Cerises Rouge 2020 Retail Price £14.95

Week 2 - Wednesday 2nd February

Chenin Blanc’s home territory is the Loire and most famously Vouvray. We have a classic medium dry Vouvray. Apple aromas on the nose, followed by elegant fruity citrus and ripe pear flavours on the palate, added to the wine's off dry character, the result is a fruity, zippy and refreshing balance, a classic expression of the Chenin Blanc grape.

We finish our Loire exploration in its famous (and most exported) appellation – Sancerre.  Known for its white Sauvignon Blanc wines it also produces a little sublime red wine from Pinot Noir, often presenting much better value than those from Burgundy itself.  Our delicate red wine has lovely sweet fruit and judicious oak flavour. The wine has an elegant, almost floral character on the nose. The palate is fresh and has lovely raspberry fruit.

  • Vouvray AC La Forcine 2020 Retail Price £12.25
  • Sancerre AC Rouge Domaine de la Villaudiere 2018 Retail Price £19.99

Week 3 - Wednesday 9th February

Moving down to the Rhône we focus this week on the Crozes-Hermitage appellation.  Known more for its red wines, it also produces superb white wines from Marsanne (often with Roussanne as a blending partner).  Our example is 100% Marsanne 50-year-old vines; quince, peony and then roasted almond on the nose, with a lovely rich character.

Of course, its is the red wine of the Rhône that is justifiably famous, and we have a fantastic Syrah to taste.  Very intense, purplish red in colour. On the nose; black cherry, blackcurrant, raspberry and vanilla. On the palate full and round, the wine has a lovely rich character and blackcurrant fruit flavour, with stewed fruits and vanilla on the finish.

  • Crozes Hermitage AC Les Meysonniers Blanc Chapoutier 2018 Retail Price £25.99
  • Crozes Hermitage AC Les Meysonniers Chapoutier 2019 Retail Price £21.99

Week 4 - Wednesday 16th February

The Southern Rhône is very different to the North.  For one thing there is a local speciality in the shape of a Vin Doux Naturel, made from Muscat de Petit Grains, with fermentation stopped by the addition of grape spirit, creating a sweet, high-alcohol white wine.  Our example has a golden colour, exotic fruit and white flowers on the nose. Palate is fresh with a good balance between acidity and mellowness, not too sweet, peach notes. Clean and long refreshing finish.

We end with one of my personal favourite appellations – Gigondas.  If you like Châteauneuf du Pape but are frustrated by its inconsistency (and deterred by high prices for guaranteed quality), let me introduce you to its much more reliable close rival and neighbour. 

Like CndP, Gigondas is a Grenache-led wine with Syrah and Mourvedre providing extra structure and black fruit.  Our example from top Rhône producer Guigal, is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre, aged for 2 years in oak foudres.  Purple in colour with an intense nose dominated by blackberry and raspberry with liquorice and notes of herbs. Generous, powerful and full-bodied with a long elegant finish. A frank attack, racy with soft tannic structure.

  • Muscat de Beaumes de Venise AC Instans 2016 Retail Price £11.99 (50 cl)
  • Gigondas AC Guigal 2018 Retail Price £26.00

As with all our virtual wine tastings, nobody has to be designated driver as you can enjoy these wines from the comfort of your own home.

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