There’s something new in French Sauvignon Blanc…

Cheverny’s a yea!

 


With Christmas lunch now on the radar, Snoothers who enjoy cooking are already thinking about a wine match with the inevitable smoked salmon starter. For French Sauvignon Blanc lovers Sancerre is a popular choice but how about ringing the changes this year by pulling a Sancerre lookalike off the shelf. Cheverny and Touraine Sauvignon Blanc may not have the ooouumphh of a top Sancerre but they’ll definitely get the table buzzing and save a few dollars along the way.
Cheverny is little known but, like Touraine Sauvignon Blanc hails from the Touraine region of France’s Loire Valley. Both whites give that crisp, zippy citrus kick to lift the smoked salmon flavours even higher. Just in case you’re wondering, Sancerre comes from the well-named Central Vineyards region of the Loire Valley to the east of Touraine.

The Cheverny vineyards, located to the east of the city of Tours and south of the town of Blois, lie on soils that vary from sand and clay to gravel and limestone and although Cheverny also produces red wines, the chilly northerly climate lends itself to whites with Sauvignon Blanc being the main player. The region gained its Appellation d’Origin Controllee back in 1993, the A.O.C. status specifying that Sauvignon Blanc has to make up between 60 and 85 per cent of the blend, the balance being either Chardonnay, Arbois or Chenin Blanc.

By the way, Cheverny’s red and rose wines are produced from Pinot Noir and Gamay blended with a minimum of 15% Cabernet Franc or Malbec (known as Cot in the Loire).

For my anorak followers, Cheverny covers 24 communes and approximately 532 hectares located between the Loire and Cher rivers. The appellation covers the communes of Candé-sur-Beuvron, Cellettes, Cheverny, Chitenay, Cormeray, Cour-Cheverny, Feings, Fougères-sur-Bièvre, Fresnes, Huisseau-sur-Cosson, Maslives, Mont-près-Chambord, Monthou-sur-Bièvre, Les Montils, Montlivault, Muides-sur-Loire, Ouchamps, Saint-Claude-de-Diray, Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire, Saint-Laurent-Nouan, Sambin, Seur, Tour-en-Sologne and Vineuil. Hopefully not a question in your local pub quiz this week!

Globe-trotting Snoothers who wander down the Loire River from time to time and visit the amazing chateaux of Chenonceaux, Chambord and Cheverny, will have driven through the neighbouring Cheverny vineyards and maybe without realising enjoyed the wines en route. That said, every Loire traveller enjoys a glass or two of Touraine Sauvignon Blanc as it’s a regular on restaurant, hotel and wine bar lists.

With the festive season fast approaching perhaps the wines will bring back some happy memories or, better still, inspire a Loire Valley visit in 2018.

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