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The 7 Greatest Loire Valley White Wines to Drink All Winter Lengthy

The 7 Greatest Loire Valley White Wines to Drink All Winter Lengthy

Just because we’re in full on winter weather mode doesn’t mean we can’t drink white wine. We’re big fans of drinking “winter whites,” with a bit more structure and body that can hold up to heartier cold weather meals. Many of the wines produced in the Loire Valley are excellent companions to rib sticking winter fare.

When we say Loire Valley, we’re referring to wines that come from the hills adjacent to the Loire River. The entire valley is named for the river that runs through it, which happens to be France’s longest river. Its fertile slopes are known for world class examples of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc in addition to rosé and red wines. The Val de Loire offers diverse terrain, soil types, and climates within three large sub-regions and many appellations whose names give rise to the wines produced there, such as Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, the two best known for Sauvignon Blanc. Sixty percent of the vineyards in the region are sustainably or organically farmed, with many domains implementing biodynamic practices as well. The Loire Valley is also quite famous with cyclists and day trippers who visit the region to check out the chateaus and royal estates as well as the wine.

The most well-known appellations for Chenin Blanc are Savenièrres, which turns out full bodied, ageable versions with strong minerality and apple and pear flavors, and Vouvray, whose still, dry Chenins have high acidity and tropical fruit flavors. Anjou, considered the birthplace of Chenin Blanc, is producing versions in a style that seems to fall somewhere between that of its two neighbors.

People in Bordeaux will tell you that Sauvignon Blanc originated there and migrated to the Loire, but DNA analysis and historical documentation show that the reverse is true. In addition to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, which takes its name from the town of Pouilly-sur-Loire and the greyish color that the grapes take on near harvest (fume is French for smoke), other appellations include Quincy, Reuilly, Touraine and Menetou-Salon. Although both Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé have bold minerality, strong acidity and flavors of citrus and stone fruit, it is said that Sancerre wines are best drunk when young, while Pouilly-Fumé will age gracefully.

Any of these wines will go well with seafood dishes, roast pork or chicken, or salads with goat cheese. They are perfect for all weather drinking, but versions which have spent some in oak or are aged a bit longer in bottle are excellent with heavier winter dishes. Here are seven whites from the Loire that are perfect to drink now.

Source: Robb Report

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