Easter is March 31, 2013, less than a month away, and with Easter arriving I see Spring. Daylight savings time kicks-in on March 10th. Warmer days, longer days and planting time is here or around the corner. Maybe you have a group of family or friends showing up for Easter brunch, or lunch or dinner, or need a hostess gift to fit the occasion. I have a great wine for Easter Sunday for serving and for gifting. I’m very familiar with Sauvion & Fils’ Vouvray and have had several vintages, including 2010. The 2011 is equally as nice.
Sauvion Vouvray, which is 100% Chenin Blanc from the vineyards of Château du Cléray-Sauvion in the Loire, is owned by the Sauvion family – one of the top producers of quality Vouvray, Muscadet and Sancerre.
Vouvray is a region of the Loire Valley, located on the left bank of the Loire River in the sub-region of Touraine. Chenin Blanc is the traditional grape for Vouvray, and in good years (and 2011 is one) Vouvray can be quite long-lived. The Sauvion Vouvray 2011 is approximately $15 or under per bottle around the country.
The 2011 Sauvion Blanc Vouvray is off-dry on the palate, but crisp with nice minerality, hints of pear, fig and melon – aromatically lovely. The traditional Easter table of ham and tiny roasted potatoes, quiche or other egg dishes, maybe even French Toast, would be well-served with this beautiful Chenin Blanc The finish is clean with a bit of jasmine noted.
Vouvray has its own AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée) is also the name of a town and one of the oldest AOC areas in the Loire.
When it comes to AOCs, there is a hierarchy beginning with: 1) the region (Vouvray is a region), 2) the districts, 3) the communes, 4) the vineyards within a commune.
Some trivia: How often do you think of the Loire Valley as also a river. Unless you are French or travel there often, the answer is likely, not often if ever. The Loire River is the longest river in France which flows for 634 miles, eventually emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.
A note of caution: many wine drinkers today will only settle for Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. They don’t like “sweet” wines they say. Bet you have friends and family like that. I know I do. A menu of traditional Easter dishes is the perfect time to try wines that are off-dry (sweeter than Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc) on the palate. If you enjoy a Mimosa at brunch, you’ll like a quality Chenin Blanc too. If you turn your nose up at Chenin Blanc, it’s probably because you haven’t had really good Chenin Blanc. Some wines are better than others with certain dishes, Chenin Blanc is good with springtime dishes in general, and yes, I agree that it is all a matter of personal preference so…have Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc or a favorite sparkling on hand.