I've been trying to figure out a way to write this entry in a breezy tone but, you know, I'm just not in that kind of mood this week. In fact, I'm just not very happy this week at all, and so I've been laying off the blog lest it show. But there's an article floating around this month about the Loire that bugs me on a few levels and so, yet again, I give into the urge. In the article it's apparent that the writer doesn’t have the same adoration for Loire wines as I do. But, I was sad, however, on her behalf that she thought the appellation looked like the Midwest (I think it looks like the Cotswolds) and I was sympathetic, though incredulous, she missed the great food that gets dished up. But one piece of the piece seemed more emblematic than anything else. "We tasted several of Filliatreau’s reds—all light and astringent, though his 2003 Cuve des 12 Fûts was made in a riper style." OK---The Loire? In 2003? Riper style? Was there a choice in that famously brutally hot year to make wine that wasn't in a 'riper style?' So, I wondered if she was inferring the Filliatreaus purposely 'styled' their wine instead of working with the unnaturally hot year as best they could. There's a big difference between 'styling' a wine for ripeness (longer hang time, certain fermenters and maybe even mega purple) and working with natures heat which will indeed, make a juicier cabernet franc. This really isn't mincing words. It's an important point of departure. I don't 'styled' wines. I don't want them with a Marcel curl one day and a French twist another. I don't want a micro-mini tomorrow and a below the knee next week. I really think not: Bauhaus on Wednesday and Rococo on Friday. So, like Parker, she doesn't like Cabernet Franc. Ripe or lean, she just doesn't like them, (did she ever have them with Indian food?) and mentioned no other reds. BUT we both do like Chenin Blanc. She, it seems, only likes one producer enough to rave; Huet. Huet makes gorgeous Vouvray and the Domaine is very famous. Fabulous stuff. Hardly a secret. But somehow I couldn't help thinking that while she likes the wines, there was a bit of a "how shocking" chord to her story, as if Huet was the one wine gem in the whole region, where the writer seems to have gone thirsty. Such a shame. I have the same problem when visiting the west coast. But thankfully, in the Loire I drink like a princess.