Sancerre, Rioja, Loire Valley

This AOC in central France lies primarily on the rolling hills on the west bank of the Loire, opposite Pouilly-Fumé. Using the Sauvignon Blanc grape, producers in the region are known for producing crisp, aromatic whites.

Known as the Loire Valley's 'King of the Hill', the Sancerre viticultural region was created in 1936. It has a famously temperate continental climate, and there are three primary soil types in the region: chalk, limestone-gravel and flint.
Rioja is located in the south of the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro river in the north of Spain. The region also has a river called Rio Oja, which is where the region likely gained its name. There are three main regions in Rioja, with each of them producing quite unique expressions of Rioja wines.

To the west is Rioja Alta, in the higher elevated area. This sub-region is renowned for its old-world wines that are often lighter on the palate due to the higher altitude. The wines coming out of Rioja Alavesa on the other hand are fuller bodies, with higher acid levels than those from Rioja Alta. The third area, Rioja Baja is the warmest and driest of all, and can in summer months can be exposed to very high temperatures drought so irrigation is now permitted in the region.

The reds (tinto) wines of Rioja are generally blends of Tempranillo and Garnacha with lesser amounts of Graciano and Mazuelo. Amongst the white (bianco) varieties, Viura is the most common though normally blended with Malvasia or Garnacha Blanc. Plenty of interesting Rosé wines are produced, most commonly from the Garnacha variety. Note that wineries in Spain are commonly referred to as bodegas.
The Loire Valley wine region lies between the center and the northwest of France, along the Loire river. It is home to some of France's most well-known wines, notably, Sancerre, Muscadet, Vouvray and Pouilly-Fumé.

The majority of output from Loire production is white wine, from grape varieties such as Sauvignon blanc, Chenin Blanc and Melon de Bourgogne grapes. There are in total 87 appellations in Loire, stretching from the Atlantic coast and heading inland near the city of Orléans. The region is commonly divided in to three subregions. The upper Loire is predominantly Sauvignon Blanc and includes the areas of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Middle Loire is mostly under Chenin Blanc (and some Cabernet Franc) and includes villages of Touraine, Saumur, Chinon and Vouvray. Lastly in the lower Loire, to the west the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety thrives in the Muscadet region and is the most widely planted grape in the Loire.
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  1. DOMAINE SAUVEROY IGP LOIRE ‘VITA FRUCTUM’ 2016
    Domaine du Sauveroy was founded in 1866, and is located in the heart of Les Coteaux, near the Layon river bordering the village of Saint Lambert du Lattay in Anjou. 100% Gamay from the Loire Valley, this wine is truly delicious and ... Learn More
  2. FINCA NUEVA RIOJA ROSADO 2016
    The Finca Nueva Rosado is made for easy and enjoyable drinking. From the creator of Finca Allende, these wines over deliver on expectations. Miguel Ángel de Gregorio, one of the great revolutionaries pushing for modernity in Rioja, is the man ... Learn More
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  3. MONMOUSSEAU BRUT ETOILE NV
    "A great value for a summer party" - Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast Magazine 70% Chenin blanc, 30% Chardonnay. Aged for 18 months on lees, this method traditional sparkling shows excellent finesse of mousse and purity of fruit with pear, almond and fig notes. ... Learn More
  4. LA RIOJA ALTA RIOJA RESERVA ‘VINA ARDANZA’ 2009
    The Tempranillo grapes (80%) come from the 30-year-old La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards, located in Fuenmayor y Cenicero. For the first time in the blend of this brand, the Garnacha (20%) comes from La Pedriza vineyard in Tudelilla (Rioja Baja) at an ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Tim Atkin MW
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    Luis Gutierrez
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  5. GERARD BOULAY CLOS BEAUJEU SANCERRE 2016
    Naturally fermented in large, upright cuve, then aged in three and four-year-old 300L barrels. Captivating aromas of white flowers, pear and lemon. The wine is clean and bright with succulent yellow fruits and sharper citrus fruit. Has nice minerality on ... Learn More
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    John Gilman
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  6. LA RIOJA ALTA RIOJA GRAN RESERVA ‘904’ 2009
    90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano from vines over 60 years old in vineyards in Briñas, Labastida and Villalba. ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Luis Gutierrez
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    Tim Atkin MW
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    Wine Spectator
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