People listen to wineontrial. I’ve seen evidence of this before, and just after I’d bemoaned the lack of Loire reds available in the UK (see review of Waitrose’s ‘Les Nivieres Saumur’ in February 2014), Aldi provide this offering. And at a price of £5.99, a punt just had to be taken.
A direct comparison between Waitrose’s Saumur and Aldi’s Anjou is too convenient, so that’s what I’m going to do.
- The two wines may be from different appellations, but they’re very much from the same region (central Loire valley), and also made from the same grape variety (Cabernet Franc).
- Both are characteristically high in acidity with moderate tannins, which seem to drift in with the finish, and then back out as it fades.
- Both are definitely best served lightly chilled – around 11 degrees.
- Fruit flavours – here’s where we get a divergence. The Saumur tastes of blackcurrant, whereas the Anjou has a rather sharp raspberry flavour.
- Herbaceousness is intrinsic to this style, and the Saumur could be said to taste as much of blackcurrant leaf as it does blackcurrant. In a pleasant way. In the Anjou, there’s a powerful herbaceous flavour which is somewhere between green bell pepper and privet hedge leaf. Not so pleasant.
To sum up, both examples are easy to recognise as Loire valley Cabernet Franc (if you know what to expect). But wineontrial’s opinion is that the Saumur is significantly better and worth the extra money. And I do suggest that you listen.