With the summer finally here, thirst-quenching, aromatic,
fruit driven white wines are in demand.
The grape Chenin Blanc, while never
achieving the popularity of Chardonnay
or Sauvignon Blanc, can produce some
of the most refreshing and food friendly
warm weather wines. The Vouvray region
in central France’s Loire Valley is home to some of the wine
world’s most interesting Chenins; from piercing bone dry
examples to luscious sweet dessert nectars. In the middle are
the demi-sec or off dry styles, numerous and affordable. One
of the best is from the Pichot family, whose estate includes 52
acres of hillside, old vine vineyard farmed without chemical
pesticides. Their Vouvray blossoms with aromas of peach, pear,
and melon. Soft and round on the palate from partial barrel
fermentation; flavors of honey and clove merge with the fruit.
Versatility is the word here, whether a chilled glass after work,
with a swordfish steak from the grill, or picnicking with some
cold Sichuan sesame noodles this wine shines.