From: Vouvray, Loire Valley, France
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Taste: This classic example of a Loire Valley Chenin Blanc opens with a beautiful golden color that sparkles with silvery highlights. On the nose, it has a delicate and complex aroma of citrus fruits, including lemon and lime, pear, honeysuckle, quince, and apple, along with a hint of ginger and a touch of minerality. On the palate, this wine has a bold and lively attack with an explosion of fresh citrus flavors that are perfectly balanced with a pleasant acidity. As the wine develops in the mouth, it reveals a tart, citrusy fruitiness with an exotic twist, those same aromatic markers on the nose opening nicely on the palate, providing a lovely complexity to the wine. The finish is long and mineral, with a touch of salinity that adds an intriguing depth to the wine.
Pairing: This Chenin’s citrusy and exotic flavors make it a perfect match for spicy and aromatic dishes, such as Indian curries (we’re sharing an easy weeknight Chicken Curry below!) or Thai stir-fries. It’ll sing alongside grilled shrimp or fish (think of sea bass or trout), and/or scallops as a first or main course. The wine's citrus notes complement the delicate flavors of seafood, while the mineral finish provides a refreshing contrast. Additionally, this wine can pair well with white meat, such as roasted chicken or pork, or with creamy dishes, such as risotto or pasta with cream-based sauces. The wine's acidity and round texture can balance the richness of these dishes, while the floral and honeyed notes provide an extra layer of complexity.
For a vegetarian pairing, the wine would pair beautifully with a salad of fresh greens, dressed with a citrusy vinaigrette, vegetarian quiche made with spinach and feta cheese, or savory tarts that lean into fresh flavors and cheeses.
Easy Chicken Curry
By Mark Bittman
About. The Loire Valley is renowned for producing some of the world's finest white wines, and the Chateau de Valmer Vouvray is a classic example of this. Made entirely from Chenin Blanc grapes, this wine is a product of the cooperative Loire Properties, which includes the impressive Chateau de Valmer estate.
This 300-hectare estate has a rich history that dates back to the 15th century when it belonged to Charles VII. The property is known for its impressive gardens, terraces, moats, and a troglodytic chapel built in the early 1500s. It's also renowned for its wine, and the 2020 Chateau de Valmer Vouvray is no exception.
This wine is made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes, which are planted on hillsides with stony slopes and clay-limestone soils overlooking the Brenne valley. The vineyard benefits from many microclimates due to the ocean influence. The grapes are harvested just at maturity to keep them fresh, and they undergo direct pneumatic pressing. The wine is then vinified at 18°C in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats with selected yeast. It's matured on lees for a maximum of 3 months.
The wine is aged in glass concrete vats, which are thermo-regulated to maintain an optimal temperature during alcoholic fermentation. The wines are matured in vats on fine lees for six months before being bottled to finish their maturing in peace in the beautifully preserved tufa cellars under the High Terrace. The vinification takes place in semi-buried century-old cellars built in 1905.
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