Loving The Loire
The Loire Valley is a key wine region that follows the Loire River as it flows from the heart of France to the Atlantic coast. It produces some of the country’s best wines – but also millions of bottles of everyday wine.
We are enamored of these “pop and pour” wines. They are made to be consumed young and have fresh, fruit-forward flavors.
At the heart of the region lies Touraine. The white wines there are almost always based on Sauvignon Blanc.
Sauvignon Blanc, French Style
We popped the cork on the Coteaux Romanais 2016 Le Grand St. Vincent hoping to brighten a gray evening. The grapes come from the clay and limestone vineyards along the Loire about 80 miles west of Sancerre. The wine is finished in stainless steel vats with inert gas and temperature controls to keep the flavors fresh.
In the glass this is pale yellow with green highlights. One sniff evokes visions of grassy fields and blue sky.
The St. Vincent offers good minerality with a roiling acidity. The acidity adds nice vibrancy, but doesn’t reach the levels of some of the zingy New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. Instead, it blends nicely with the grapefruit and mellow tropical notes.
We paid $12 for this bottle and it averages about $14 across the country. This is an easy sipping wine, but is a magnitude of quality better than a comparably priced mass-marketed California Sauvignon Blanc. (Sorry, Cali!)
The Loire also produces outstanding Cabernet Franc and sparkling wines – but today we raise our glass in a toast to Sauvignon Blanc. Add some French style to your day without putting a hurt on your wallet.