Just when I think I've tasted the best wine of my life, something new and exciting comes along. This is a story about wines of the Loire Valley, an under-appreciated wine region of France. I've long had an attraction to Loire wines. We poured Sancere at our wedding. Yet, never loved them as much as I do now. Let me tell you why.
A couple of weeks ago I received an invitation to a tasting of a Loure wine maker at the cool wine bar CorkBuzz Wine Studio, downtown on 13th Street. I was interested but did not expect to be as dazzled as much as I was.
The wine-maker presenting was Pierre-Jean Sauvion who I discovered is a fourth-generation winemaker of a family that has been producing wines in the Loire since 1935. He is an exceptionally knowledgeable and skilled wine maker yet very humble. He is also very entertaining and says “I look young because I’ve been drinking Muscadet since I was three,” Good to know. He talks about his role in the wine making as "tending his garden." This phrase means a lot when you taste his wines.
We learned a lot about the wines of the Loire that include Muscadet, Sancere, Vouvray and lesser knows like Chinon and Saumur.
This is a great time to learn about wines of the Loire, they make for great spring and summer drinking. They are known for their bright, crisp, lively nature.
Pierre-Jeane told us about the different subsoils of Sancere which became even more interesting as we tasted wines made with grapes of each subsoil. Sorry for getting all wine geeky, but it was very cool.
It is truly amazing what a difference the subsoil can make. Even more intriguing was how wines of different subsoils appealed to different people. Like you could actually say I like Sancere from grapes of the "Silex" better than those of the "Terres Blances."
The group came up with some interesting wines, but when we tasted Pierre-Jean's own Sancere blend we realized we had a lot to learn.
Sauvion is one of the best-known and one of the oldest Muscadet producers of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine region of the Loire Valley. Their estate Château du Cléray-Sauvion, in the Nantes region, is home to the Sauvion family.
Sauvion Muscadet 2011: 100 % Melon de Bourgogne
Crisp and dry. A classic Muscadet.
Sauvion Rose d’Anjou 2011: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Garnay, 5% Pineau d’Aunis, 5% Grolleau
A refreshing, fruity, generous wine.
Sauvion Vouvray 2011: 100% Chenin Blanc
A medium dry wine with a fresh, soft and velvety finish and aromas of honey and acacia. Together with Muscadet, Vouvray is the most popular in the U.S.A.
Sauvion Sancerre 2011: 100 % Sauvignon Blanc
An extremely aromatic, dry but full-bodied white wine with aromas of jasmine, acacia, and boxtree.
Pale yellow with silver highlights Expressive with floral and fruity notes (exotic fruits), slightly vegetal aromas. Fresh, round and full-bodied; the finish is very fruity with an underlying vegetal edge.
Ideal with crayfish, lobster, prawns and goat cheese.
"This has length and depth, with good definition to the flint, lime, gooseberry and chive notes that extend through the finish. Drink now through 2012. 3,000 cases made."
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