Yapp Travel

Loire wines vintage report 2012

Written by Tom Ashworth.

Ludovic Gigou - Jasnières

Ludovic Gigou – Jasnières


A recent whistle-stop visit to the Loire valley confirmed that 2012 was a tough year in Northern France. Some wine growers, such as Joel & Ludovic Gigou in Jasnières, lost as much as 80% of their harvest due to a combination of mildew and hail. Yet, as ever, it doesn’t pay to generalise about a wine region that runs from Atlantic-swept Nantes in the West to land-locked Saint Pourçain near the Allier forest, a river journey of 1,000km.

St Pourcain Sign


As a general rule of thumb, the further East one went – towards Chinon, Menetou Salon and Sancerre, the better the conditions. The Teillers’ and Vatans’ whites had all the zing that you would hope for in a Loire Sauvignon and the reds from Chinon and the Bourgeuil areas were unexpectedly deep violet in colour and ripe of red fruit on the palate.

The Loire at Chinon


Reductions in harvest volume ranged between 10-80% which, although a set back, is certainly no hammer blow after the run of excellent recent vintages between 2009-2011, coupled with farmers’ insurance.

Frederik Filliatreau - Chateau Fouquet - Saumur

Frederik Filliatreau – Chateau Fouquet – Saumur


Not a great year, but far from a disaster and many good wines were made. However they, like us, will be hoping for a better (and easier) Summer in 2013.



One comment on Loire wines vintage report 2012

  1. Susan Smith Talbot says:

    Good synopsis of the year, and lovely pictures – especially the Chateau at Amboise, one of my favorite places in France. I love Saumur wines too – when we had a little rental house in “downtown” Mosnes, I drove out to a little mom + pop winery and bought a bottle of red and a bottle of white for our dinner. The bottles had a star on them (formed in the glass of the bottle) – Lovely, and about 10 francs a bottle…Aaahhhh France.

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