Tour(s) de France – Prologue

As happens in the great bike race, our holiday in France started with a taste of things to come in the city of Tours in The Loire Valley. Last year I drove straight down to the Southern Rhone in one go, then proceeded northwards for 2 weeks up through the northern Rhone, Burgundy and Champagne. This year’s trip is Bordeaux and The Loire but I didn’t fancy driving down in one go so we decided to stop off in Tours as it was about half way. And what a wonderful first evening it was…

It also happened to be our 7th wedding anniversary so a good meal and a fine bottle of wine was (as usual!) top of the agenda. We wondered though the delightful streets of Tours and came across the magnificently named “Au Lapin Qui Fume”. It was perfect. €26 for three courses, 4 choices per course, and a very simple but enticing wine list. I went for Carpaccio, Bream (best ever!) and Chocolate Tart; The Fish went with Chèvre Chaud, the eponymous Lapin tagine, and roasted peach. It was top notch cooking with fantastic ingredients – the French are kings and queens of the set menu. Vouvray was the wine choice of the evening, starting with a couple of glasses of delicious sparkling nectar from Domaine Fourquat. Ripe apples and a tropical twist, with a delicious hint of sweetness, all brought together with tiny, perfectly formed bubbles. We then had a bottle of dry Vouvray, which was simple but went down a treat:

Domaine Champalou Sec Vouvray 2011 (€16.00)
Lovely mixture of apple skin and citrus with the faintest hint of the tropics. Lovely acidity and a decent, if not over-generous finish. Ideal start to the holiday and perfect for 30 degree heat! 87 points

It’s funny, as the week before travelling to Tours I drank another bottle from Domaine Champalou – this one was off-dry and had layers of complexity:

Domaine Champalou Cuvée des Fondraux Vouvray 2011 (Wine & The Vine £14.95)
Lovely honey, nuts and apples, then plenty if citrus zing as well a delicious note of very ripe melon. The acidity is searing and delicious, perfectly balanced with the residual sugar to give a truly refreshing edge. I would happily drink a bottle of this every night this summer and believe it counted as at least two of my five a day! 92 points

I really can’t wait to get back to The Loire… But unfortunately there’s a week in Bordeaux to do first!




About Confessions of a Wine Geek

Posted on July 29, 2013, in General, Tasting post, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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