Focus on the classic white grapes: Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc
|Hardworking winemakers in Vouvray|
The Loire Valley has claims, quite strong, to being the birthplace of Sauvignon Blanc. Eventually it got together with Cabernet Franc, another grape widely-grown in the valley, and produced Cabernet Sauvignon. "..wine lovers would have to thank it for that," say Grapes and Wines. The name of the grape was rarely on labels until its debut in the 70s in New Zealand and then everyone got to know it through the pungent wines from Marlborough. Well-made Loire examples, while usually somewhat more restrained, are still worth checking out. And the bottle below from Menetou-Salon is excellent and at a good price too.
While Sauvignon Blanc is now grown all over the world, Chenin Blanc has a much less extensive footprint, mainly found in the Loire and in South Africa. Here in Ireland, we get examples that are usually dry but it is a versatile fruit as you can read below. Vouvray is in the middle of the Loire Valley, not too far from the historic city of Tours. St Martin, the patron saint of wine, was a bishop here.
Bourillon Coup de Trique Vouvray (AOC) 2014, 13.5%, €21.15 Karwig Wine
From a troglodyte cellar in the Loire Valley and bearing a very modern fancy orange cork (100% recyclable nomacorc), comes this Highly Recommended Chenin Blanc from Vouvray.
Jean-Max Roger Morgues Le Petit Clos Menetou-Salon (AOC) 2015, 13%, €21.55 Karwig
Menetou-Salon is a village at the eastern end of the Loire Valley wine region and considered an up and coming rival to its famous neighbour Sancerre. Inhabitants are known as Monestrosaloniens and you thought Corkonian was a mouthful!