This is what happens when you pop into an Oddbins with 5 minutes to spare prior to your train’s departure and ask ‘what is the most unusual and lowest priced wine you can pull for me?’
Oddbins, for those of us living on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean here in North America, is a UK-based wine and alcohol retail chain. The fellow minding the store immediately showed me this one – and singled it out because Cheverny AoC is unusual and allows Chardonnay mixed in with the Sauvignon Blanc.
Cheverny is located in the Loire Valley on the road between Tours and Orleans and is one of 24 communes in the Cheverny appellation where white, red, rosé and the odd sparkling wines are produced. The whites must be 60-80% Sauvignon Blanc, but the remaining blend may be either Arbois, Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc. This particular wine is an 85% Sauvignon Blanc / 15% Chardonnay blend.
Cheverny AoC reds are based on Gamay (40-65%) and are blended with Pinot Noir, Cabernet France or Côt. And when you pull out a rosé, you can count on any of those red varietals along with the possibility of Pineau d’Aunis, aka Chenin Noir. So, this appellation is a little unusual, to be sure.
Clear and bright, this wine is a pale lemon-green with light legs. On the nose, it was clean with a youthful and pronounced intensity of stones, gooseberry, citrus and green grass.
The palate was dry with high acidity, medium minus alcohol and a pronounced flavour intensity of gooseberry, apricot and white peach, Meyer lemon zest and Bergamot lime with yellow grapefruit and freshly mown grass. The finish was medium.
The wine surprised us a little with its ‘new worldliness’. We just didn’t expect it to be so full of gooseberry, grass and citrus. That said, the addition of the Chardonnay and the accompanying citrus tones was an interesting and welcome addition.
The wine was very acidic but the addition of some fresh Saltspring Island goat cheese with basil and olive oil tempered it and we enjoyed this WSET Good wine with steamed mussels as well.