Muscadet is so much more interesting than Picpoul de Pinet, often called the Muscadet of the south, and currently very fashionable. Picpoul is a good crisp dry white wine. In the hands of a clever winemaker, it can be a little better than that, but most of those on offer come from one large producer. Muscadet on the other hand, is also be light, crisp and dry, but it can offer so much more. The really good ones (which sadly cost over €15) have a depth and complexity you will never find in a Picpoul. The Chauvinière is made by one of the best growers in the region. It has a lovely leesy touch, some lemon zest, and delicious light apple fruits. Perfect summer drinking, and great value for money.
Posts Tagged Loire Valley
Not many wine geeks will have heard of Cheverny. It is one of those very obscure appellations of the Loire Valley. The white wines are a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Arbois, Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc. The red is also a blend, of Gamay and Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc.
Thierry Puzelat is one of the leading exponents of natural winemaking in France. His wines are made with no added yeasts and little or no sulphur. When they work, I find them spectacularly good, although I have tasted a few very barnyardy examples in the past. This was delicious, a refreshing fruit-filled wine with redcurrants and raspberries and a fine elegant acidity and an earthy touch. Serve cool with all sorts of pork and chicken dishes.
I hesitated to make this a wine of the week, not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I was afraid you wouldn’t. It is made by Ch. de Fesles, one of the top estates in this part of the Loire, and producers of some very good dry and sweet wines. You would expect to pay €20 and more for most of their wines. This wine is classic Loire Chenin Blanc, with a fragrant nose, followed by quince and green apples overlaid with honey and beeswax on the palate. It finishes bone dry. I enjoyed it, but it does have a fairly severe lean mineral streak and lots of citrus acidity. If you are used to off-dry Pinot Grigio, it may give you a jolt. But the price is great, so it is certainly worth trying, preferably with food; some kind of shellfish sounds good.