Loire reds get some respect

Three stand-out red wines from the Loire Valley

Of all the world’s great red wines, those from the Loire Valley may receive the “least respect in proportion to their superb quality,” said Eric Asimov in The New York Times. Loire reds pair well, though, with all kinds of food, “including, surprisingly, Asian cuisines.” For a recent tasting, we stuck to the easier-to-acquire Chinon and Bourgueil appellations. These three stood out:

2007 Domaine de la Butte Bourgueil La Pied de la Butte ($16)

Our choice as best value, this “savory and delicious” wine ranks among the top reds at many Paris bistros. Well balanced, with “flavors of raspberries, herbs, and minerals.”

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2007 Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Nuits d’Ivresse ($22)

I loved this wine’s “freshness and earthy complexity.” Flavors range from “smoky fruit” and minerals to herbal accents. Nuits d’Ivresse means “drunken nights,” and this wine definitely drinks easily.

2006 Olek-Mery Chinon Cuvée des Tireaux ($19)

This refreshing wine boasts “rich aromas” and tastes of “red fruits and earth.”

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