From: Loire Valley, France
Blend: 75% Gamay, 25% Pinot Noir
Taste: The nose is marked by notes of red and black fruits (blackcurrant, redcurrant, raspberry) with nuances of spices (slightly peppery). The palate is supple and pleasant, deep and fresh, with delicious fruit along a thread of minerality found throughout the wine. The Pinot Noir generates finesse and length on the palate, and the Gamay brings a good part of the fruitiness.
“In red, Instan T 2021, a union of Gamay and Pinot Noir, is a wonderful easy-drinking and very digestible friend in its early youth.” [RVF]
Pairing: Some ideas for pairing this delish, chillable red include serving it alongside roasted chicken or turkey, any dish with mushrooms as a focus (see recipe below), grilled/roasted/baked salmon, pepperoni pizza, bbq pork ribs or glazed shortribs, charcuterie and fromage, game, beet salads with goats milk cheese, and roasted winter vegetables.
Creamy One-Pot Mushroom and Leek Pasta
By Hetty Lui McKinnon
About. Eric and Valérie Nesson, uncle and aunt, both work the vineyards, and Florent Barichard, the nephew, takes care of the winemaking, as well as the work in the vines and all 3 participate in the marketing of the wines.
The estate was created in 2013, has 9.5 hectares of vines on 2 sites (Chatel de Neuvre and Meillard providing 2 different types of soil) divided into 3.30 hectares of white grape variety with Tressallier (local grape variety of St-Pourçain) and chardonnay, and 6.20 hectares of red grape varieties with gamay and pinot noir.
About the regioin. The Saint-Pourçain vineyards are thought to be even older than those planted by the Romans! Saint Louis had the wine served at his royal table after hearing of its flattering reputation. The Popes of Avignon did not want to be left out: in spite of enormous transport costs they used to take delivery of between 60 and 120 hectolitres every year. At the end of the 18th century the vines covered 8,000 hectares but from the beginning of the 19th century onwards, cereal and fodder crops and the ravages of phylloxera greatly reduced the wine-growing area.
Today, 19 villages on either side of Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule covering 650 hectares at the heart of the Bourbonnais, produce white, rosé and mostly red wines. The area received AOC (PDO) classification in May 2009. 85 wine-growers belong to the ""Union des Vignerons de Saint-Pourçain"" and account for two-thirds of the total production. The rest is produced by 19 independent producers.
Saint-Pourçain, mentioned in the ‘Battle of Wines’
The famous 13th century poet, Henri d'Andelys, imagined a « Battle of Wines » which took place at the table of King Philippe-Auguste, who was very well-known for his attachment to the beverage. The story goes that the king sent messengers to find the best white wines in France for a “monumental” tasting session. The poet lists the greatest French wines and Saint-Pourçain is quoted after those of Beaune and Saint-Emilion...
Red, white and rosé
Saint-Pourçain wines are light and fruity and come from one of the oldest wine-growing areas in France. Served at the table of the Kings of France, they were transported by
‘gabarre’ (river boat) along the nearby Allier to the Canal de Briare and then to Paris.
Taste « La Ficelle » : Legend states that an innkeeper from Saint-Pourçain named Gaultier, exasperated by his customers cheating him, decided to systematically place a piece of knotted string in the jugs to indicate half-pint or full-pints and thus measure their consumption.
Musée de la vigne et du terroir (Museum of Wine and local produce)
This museum is housed in the Bailiff’s House, a tribute to the glorious past of the monastery of Saint-Pourçain. The building has a magnificent spiral staircase in the belfry, a listed monument. The different collections and documents displayed in the 11 rooms enable visitors to enter the world of Saint-Pourçain wine and understand the winegrowers’ way of life, their work and way of thinking.
The exhibition features tools used to work in the vines, harvesting tools, wine-making equipment, tools used in wine-related crafts, a wine-grower’s home and everyday life, agricultural activities and local costumes. The last room is devoted to the history of the town.
Le Festival Viticole et Gourmand du Saint-Pourçain (Wine and Food Festival)
The Wine and Food Festival in August was created to give a new dimension to the traditional Fête des Vins. For 10 days, numerous events are held in the 27 villages of the
Pays Saint-Pourcinois, to the delight of local inhabitants and tourists.
The program includes: markets, walks, horse rides and cycle rides, a fete, trip around the vines in a horse and carriage, a buffet meal, village and heritage discovery tours, concerts, a parade of floats decorated with flowers, tasting sessions and a stamp exhibition. In addition, throughout the festival : Saint-Pourçain wine-cellars in festive mood, « Pass Touristique » available from the Office de Tourisme, « Pass Gourmand », special festival menus in local restaurants, funfair, visits to churches belonging to the « Arc en Ciel » circuit and a treasure hunt for children accompanied by their parents."
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