There is a long history of fine wine here and Bollinger are the major shareholder in this Saumur based estate. Saumur make some of my favourite whites and reds in the whole world. But they also have the raw material to produce outstanding Brut Cremant sparkling wine too.
A blend of Chenin (60%), Chardonnay (20%) and Cabernet-Franc (20%), the grapes come from 6 quality terroirs in Saumur. This is bold and forward with plenty of character, pears and red apple, white flowers and stone fruits. The intensity follows through on the palate which is clean and fresh. I’d serve this at the start of a meal or for casual sipping.
Crémant de Loire Hand harvested and aged for one year. These wines are often made from Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc but can also include a range of local varieties. They can range in style from rich and creamy to light, dry and mineral. This is the second biggest producer of Sparkling wine in France and the quality we see in Australia is outstanding. The value is unbelievable.
Loire Valley Can any white wine rival Loire Valley Chenin Blanc for elegance, grace and poise in the cellar? Definitely some Rieslings would give it a run but not much else. Chenin, whether sweet or dry, produces wines with a lovely balance of taut, unrelenting acidity and pillowy soft fruit that sits on top. The best wines, think Savennières, Vouvray and Montlouis, can age for a surprisingly long time (25, 50, 100 years even). Only surprising due to the amazing balance the best producers can find in the wine. Then you get stuck into the stunning sparkling wines that are such great value too and the reds from Cabernet Franc that will make lovers of Burgundy or Bordeaux swoon.
Chenin Blanc may not be the most popular or the most famous wine grape, but the good examples are seriously good! Lovely, fleshy/flowery apples and pears, a nice mineral – flinty streak, lemon zest and a touch of dough. I have always described good Chenin as feeling pillowy and I stand by that. Round and fluffy mouth feel but the zesty acid kicks it into shape.