The Drync.com Wine Blog

3 Minute Wine Class: Vouvray

September 30, 2014

As a good wine drinker, you are most likely always looking to expand your breadth of knowledge. As such, we have received lots of requests for educational content from our readers. We are kicking off our 3 minute wine class series, with one of our favorite regions for floral, high acid white wines, Vouvray.

Loire Valley MapLocation:

Touraine, Loire Valley, France

Why you should know it:

Vouvray is situated between Paris and the Atlantic Ocean on the gentle sloping hillsides on the northern bank of the Loire River just east of the charming city of Tours in the Touraine district of the Loire Valley. Vouvray is known for its for its fabulous white wines and beautiful landscape dotted with castles, monasteries and ancient Troglodyte caves (make a note for your next vacation).

Vouvray’s Typical Grapes

It’s all about Chenin Blanc. The Chenin Blanc grapes have been planted in the region since the 4th Century. Prior to the creation of the Vouvray AOC in 1936, the grapes were mainly sold to Dutch merchants or used in blends from the Touraine region. Today the region represents the highest concentration of Chenin Blanc grapes grown in all of France.

Why you might like Vouvray

Vouvray wines run the gamut from sparkling to bone dry to sweet. This means that there is a little something for everyone, but this region is particularly wonderful for folks that love wines with mouth-wateringly high acidity.

  • Dry sparkling wines are typically brut. They are made using the same traditional method for sparkling wine that is used in Champagne. The tight austere bubble is very similar, but the aromatics are far more floral and delicate in contrast to Champagne’s crisp lemon, and toasty aromatics.
  • Dry still Vouvrays are labeled “sec.”  They feature fragrant aromas of spring flowers, apple blossom, chamomile, beeswax and sometimes a hint of quinine; flavors of ripe stone fruit, quince, citrus and raw honey; delicate mouthfeel and a crisp finish.
  • Off-dry still wines, labeled demi-sec, are known for layers of flavors and round texture.
  • Moelleux (AKA mellow in French) are the classic Botrytized dessert wines of the region. They are made with the same method of production as the storied Sauternes and Tokaj. The bacteria Botrytis Cinera, poetically termed the noble rot, makes its way into the grapes, and turning them into raisins on the vine. This concentrates the sugars in the grapes, yielding rich, luscious nectars.
  • Doux is the sweetest of the bunch. These wines are almost syrupy in texture, yet the Chenin Blanc’s naturally high acidity maintains a perfect balance.

Some of our favorite Vouvrays:

Under $20 Sauvion Vouvray 2013 approx $16

Over $20:
Domaine Huet Vouvray Haut-Lieu Sec Approximately $33
2011 François Pinon Vouvray Les Trois Argiles approximately $24

Sparkling: Champalou Vouvray Brut NV approx $27

 

Christopher Sawyer SommelierChristopher is an award winning and industry honored Sommelier, Wine Educator, Journalist and Wine Judge.  His current pursuits can be followed on the Sommelier Files at www.sawyersomm.com.  Most recently, he appeared at Food Network in Concert, held at Ravinia in Chicago, as the exclusive Artisan Series Sommelier.

 

 

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Image courtesy of Terroir France

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