Region: Loire Valley, France
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Taste: Lively and dry, with ripe notes of golden delicious apples, and a crisp refreshing character which carries through to a vibrant finish. Great concentration of flavor.
Pairing: This is an ideal wine for Asian flavors and fish dishes. One of my favorites is Alan Wong’s Ginger Crusted Onaga with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette (there’s a September 18, 2014 YouTube video of a young Alan Wong making the dish that will make you drool just watching). Or this Ginger Cucumber Salad With Scallops
By Mark Bittman. If you don’t do seafood, this is still a wine that works with anything gingery, think congee or pho, veggie or not.
About: The grapes to produce Chenin Blanc de Loire Domaine des Forges from each parcel were vinified separately. The fruit was carefully pressed and the juice settled under controlled conditions. The must be filtered to ensure extra purity. The fermentation of Chenin Blanc de Loire Domaine des Forges took place slowly with selected yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Careful maturation on the fine lees resulted in fresh vivacity and great complexity. The wine was filtered by cross flow filtration, which significantly helps to reduce the sulphur levels. This wine is also vegan.
Located in the commune of St Aubin de Luigné in the south of the Loire Valley, the vineyards are situated on schist and carboniferous soils that mark some of the finest parcels of the region. The schist retains heat, which encourages ripening in this northern, cool climate. The yields seldom rise above 25 hectolitres per hectare; resulting in grapes with concentrated juice and full of flavor. The vineyard is sustainably cultivated, the vineyards are grassed between the rows, with green harvesting, summer thinning to ensure the grapes are exposed to the sunshine to ensure ripening. The harvest is picked in three triages, in order to select only the ripest and highest quality fruit.
Domaine de Forges has been a family-owned producer for five generations. Although his father Claude can still be found pottering around the cellar, the current success of this estate and the quality of the wines is due to his son Stéphane and his wife Séverine Branchereau. Their 50 hectares of sustainably farmed vines include 30 hectares of Chenin Blanc, of which seven are located on the steep slopes of the Chaumes and a one-hectare parcel in the Loire’s only Grand Cru: the prestigious Quarts de Chaume. Domaine des Forges also owns three separate plots in Savennières, including the original in the sandy-schist site of Moulin du Gué and one hectare in the cru Roche aux Moines. Yields are kept extremely low, at 25 hectolitres per hectare. As a result of this complex network of terroirs, the wines have a richness and intensity that clearly show the world-class potential of this style of Chenin Blanc.
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