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The Performance Tables


A dismal performance by Gaillac yielded just two recommendations.

75 Robert Plageoles NV Mauzac Nature, Gaillac
73 Cave de Labastide de Lévis NV Gaillac Brut


As I said last year 'I'm seeing less exciting Limoux, whether Blanquette or Crémant, as each year goes by', although no one bothered to submit its finest and most interesting wine, the succulently sweet Méthode Ancestrale.

80 Cuvée Maistre Antoine NV Blanquette de Limoux Brut
79 Domaine de l'Aigle NV Jean-Louis Denois, Brut Tradition
73 Jean Louis Denois NV Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay Brut

Loire, all styles

If not for the Tresor, the Crémant de Loire from the Saumur cooperative would have topped this list, which would have been embarrassing for a leading Saumur producer. It is not that this cooperative happens to have better vineyards outside Saumur, just that the regulations for Crémant de Loire are more user-friendly for those winemakers who try to make a classic quality sparkling wine. As for the Tresor, it is one of the most helter-skelter wines on the market, but this year's performance not only means that it is as good as one of the very best Champagnes in its own right, it is one percentile point short of the deluxe cuvée quality. We all know that the Loire can do it. It is arguably equal to Chablis in its potential to rival Champagne, yet both regions consistently produce more dross than quality. If the winemaker responsible for Pirie, Croser, Roederer Estate, Iron Horse and Domaine Carneros La RÍve were given vineyards here, overnight the Loire would become the hottest place for sparkling wine. Come on guys, do you really need foreigners to show you the way? The main obstruction is, as we all know, that this region (and Chablis) are famous for other still styles of wine. Whoever is brave enough to use first quality grapes from the very best vineyards for sparkling wine will become one of the world's most legendary winemakers. Anyone up for it, or are you all prepared to let an Aussie or a Yank steal the limelight?

89 Bouvet Ladubay NV Tresor, Brut Saumur
75 CV de Saumur, Crémant de Loire NV Cuvée de la Chevalerie, Brut
75 Ackerman Laurance NV Cuvée Excellence, Saumur Brut
74 CV de Saumur, Crémant de Loire 1998 Les Médaillés, Brut
74 Ackerman Laurance NV Saumur 1811, Brut
74 Ackerman Laurance NV 1811 Vouvray Brut
74 Ackerman Laurance NV Cuvée Excellence, Crémant de Loire Brut
74 Langlois NV Crémant de Loire, Brut Rosé
72 Montvermeil NV Crémant de Loire, Brut
72 Ackerman NV Cuvée Privée, Crémant de Loire Brut
72 Château de Montgueret 1997 TÍte de Cuvée, Saumur Brut
72 Langlois NV Crémant de Loire, Brut
72 Bouvet 1998 Saphir Brut Vintage, Saumur
71 Ackerman 1996 Cuvée Jean-Baptiste, Saumur Brut
70 Ackerman Laurance NV Privilège Brut, Crémant de Loire
75 Zéro par Bouvet-Ladubay 1998 Extra Brut, Saumur
78 CV de Saumur, Habit Pourpre NV Cuvée de la Chevalier, Cabernet Demi-Sec