The SOMM Journal

October / November 2015

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Page 68 of 132

68 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015 IN MANY WAYS, TOURAINE IS THE PROVERBIAL GOLDILOCKS' porridge of the Loire's burgeoning wine regions. Diving deeper than the regional AOP, but not so deep as to go into the sub-regional AOPs lands you in Touraine, smack dab in the center of winemaking goodness with just the right amount of geek and accessibility. Centered around the château-dappled town of Tours, Touraine AOP (formerly known as AOC) is the meeting place for the Loire River and its myriad tributaries. The appellation itself covers 104 communes in Indre-et- Cher and 42 communes in Loir-et-Cher, and stretches from Anjou in the west to the Sologne in the east. "Among sommeliers, the Loire Valley in general is the world's hottest region right now." This comes from Master Sommelier Brian McClintic, who joined The SOMM Journal and a group of importers at Aestus in Santa Monica, CA, as we dove into the region and a selection of its unrepresented wines. As McClintic guided us through the line up of sparkling, whites, rosé and reds of the afternoon—paired impeccably with Chef Alex Ageneau's Loire-centric meal—it became obvious how special these wines are and how grossly overlooked they have been. "We all know how well Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc thrive in Touraine, so it is a pleasure to see how well some of the region's other variet - ies can perform." McClintic continued, "With such a divergence in style among producers, it is great being able to compare these differences side by side." Master Sommelier Brian McClintic leads us through the exceptional wines of the Touraine AOP. EXPLORING THIS OFT OVERLOOKED, YET NO LESS STUNNING, AOP AT THE HEART OF THE LOIRE VALLEY by Karen Moneymaker / photos by Cal Bingham "Consumers now, more than ever, are craving diversity and value. Touraine AOP is the ultimate poster child for such a movement." — Brian McClintic, Master Sommelier Turning up the

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