However, Oddbins really need to do better than have a range of OK to disappointing wines, otherwise you might as well buy your wines along with groceries in the supermarket.
The Loire range is still in the process of being sourced. Most of the Loire wines I tasted came from Henri Bourgeois but under their Etienne de Loury label. The first the pungent and steely 2008 Petit Duc Sauvignon Blanc (£9.99) VDP du Val de Loire followed by 2008 austere and mineral Sancerre. The first is the same as the Petit Bourgeois and the 2008 Sancerre is Les Vignes Blanches (£14.99) from the caillottes. I also tasted the austere and lemony 2008 Pouilly-Fumé (£14.99) from Domaine Jonathan Pabiot.
Next a couple of Bourgeois rosés – the quite lean 2008 Petit Duc Rosé VDP du Val de Loire (£9.99) made from Pinot Noir. Then the impressive 2008 Sancerre Rosé Etienne de Loury (£17.99) – quite austere but with very attractive and long. Unfortunately at £17.99 it is hors de prix – small independent merchant Paul Adams has this for £12.24 a bottle.
Before the reds I tried the well-made, attractive and strawberry influenced Langlois-Chateau Rosé (£12.99) made from 100% Cabernet Franc. Also 100% Cabernet Franc was the 2007 Petit Duc Cabernet Franc VDP Etienne de Loury (£9.99). This had 11 days maceration and I think two or three days or so longer than it should have been as the finish is vegetal and green. 2007 Les Ramières VDP from Eric Chauvin, Domaine de la Souverain, Vendée (£7.99) was the last Loire red I tasted. Tannic, lacking fruit and with a dry, bitter finish the grapes were subjected to 18 days of maceration. Surely given the light style of the fruit in 2007 this length of maceration is insane – borne out by this charmless wine – or unless one happened to have particularly well structured fruit and ripe tannins, which was certainly rare in 2007.