About this WINE
Patrick Vauvy`s Domaine is now producing benchmark single varietal Loire wines. He took over the family Domaine in 1991 after studying viticulture and oneology at agricultural college. Today the Domaine now has 18 hectares of vineyards planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay, Cabernet Franc, and small amounts of Chardonnay and Cot.
The vineyards are located on predominantly sandy soils on the north bank of the Cher Tributary. All the grapes are hand harvested and the majority of the red grape varieties are then fermented using a semi-carbonic maceration, as in used in Beaujolais. A small proportion of Sauvignon Blanc undergoes a short `maceration pelliculaire` which adds an attractive depth to the white wines.
Located around the central city of Tours, Touraine is famous for the Cabernet Francs of Bourgueil, Chinon and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, as well as for the dry, sweet and sparkling Chenin Blanc wines of Vouvray and Montlouis.
The bulk of the region's wines are produced under the Sauvignon de Touraine appellation, a good-value Loire Sauvignon Blanc produced on sandy, undulating clay flats between the Cher and Indre tributaries. Reds are also made from Côt (Malbec), Cabernet Franc and Gamay.
Recommended producers: Domaine Jean-Marie Penet, Jacky Blot
An important white grape in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley that has now found fame in New Zealand and now Chile. It thrives on the gravelly soils of Bordeaux and is blended with Sémillon to produce fresh, dry, crisp Bordeaux Blancs, as well as more prestigious Cru Classé White Graves.
It is also blended with Sémillon, though in lower proportions, to produce the great sweet wines of Sauternes. It performs well in the Loire Valley and particularly on the well-drained chalky soils found in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where it produces bone dry, highly aromatic, racy wines, with grassy and sometimes smoky, gunflint-like nuances.
In New Zealand, Cloudy Bay in the 1980s began producing stunning Sauvignon Blanc wines with extraordinarily intense nettly, gooseberry, and asparagus fruit, that set Marlborough firmly on the world wine map. Today many producers are rivalling Cloudy Bay in terms of quality and Sauvignon Blanc is now New Zealand`s trademark grape.
It is now grown very successfully in Chile producing wines that are almost halfway between the Loire and New Zealand in terms of fruit character. After several false starts, many South African producers are now producing very good quality, rounded fruit-driven Sauvignon Blancs.