I Can't Get Enough of Savennières

In celebration of Wine Wednesday (#WW) on twitter, I thought I’d share one of my favorite French wine finds. 

It’s common for wine-writers to receive samples from wineries for review, and I often receive bottles now and then. While I don’t receive nearly as many boxes as some wine-writers I’ve met in my travels, I likely receive enough to preclude me from having to actually go out and buy a bottle myself

But I do, in fact, buy plenty of bottles. That’s because in the course of writing about wine, I often sample wines that are utterly amazing and worth buying in spite of the fact that I have plenty of other bottles on my shelves at home.

The Loire Valley. Land of Chateaux—and Savennières

One of those wines is Savennières (Sah-vehn-yee-AIR), a wine I recently discovered in the Loire Valley, and purchased last night for a dinner with friends.

It’s made from the Chenin Blanc grape—but don’t assume you’ll know what that means until you taste it. It’s not nearly as full-on fruity as Chenins I’ve tasted from elsewhere. It’s tricky, because on first impression, it could be. As you bring the wine to your lips and inhale, there’s a beguiling sweetness that makes you think you’re in for something in the juicy-fruit arena: pear, honey, quince, peach come to mind.

But that luscious fruit that seduces you on the nose becomes a beguiling backdrop as you start to sip, when the spice, citrus, and minerality take over and the finish goes on and on.

Tom Stevenson, author of the Sotheby’s Encyclopedia of wine, calls it, “the world’s greatest Chenin blanc.”

Of course, like many great wines, it’s made in smaller quantities and doesn’t proliferate on supermarket shelves. Head to a specialty wine shop for a bottle. Here in Amerique profonde, I’ve found the wonderful Domaine de Baumard Savennières for around $22, and it was everything I wanted it to be. I’ve also tried Chateau d’Epiré and Domaine de Closel “La Jalousie” Savennières—all worth the Savennières’s lover’s attention.

Here are other bottles, recommended by the Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Keep in mind that Savennières can age well (five to eight years, and sometimes longer).




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