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WBW #24 – Domaine du Salvard Cheverny

August 2, 2006

The theme for this month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday (kindly hosted by Vinography) is white wines from the Loire Valley. Since the Loire is home to some of the best Sauvignon Blancs in the world, this was an easy one for me. And it doesn’t have to be about Sauvignon Blanc.

There are plenty of other good Loire Valley wines like the Chenin Blancs from Vouvray, Muscadets from the mouth of the river and Cabernet Francs from Chinon and Bourgeuil (although these last are obviously not white wines). Unfortunately, Winnipeg isn’t the best place to track down super-obscure or higher-end Loire wines (like the excellent Sauvignon Blancs from Didier Dageneau). Although, to give credit where it’s due, the MLCC does stocks a decent range of Loire whites, as do some of the private wine stores. The same doesn’t necessarily hold true for reds though.

However, I decided to follow my heart and go with a Sauvignon Blanc. I did shake it up a bit by choosing a blend though. My choice was the Domaine du Salvard Cheverny, which comes from the Cherverny AOC (in Touraine, and just down the river from Sancerre). It’s a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (85%) and Chardonnay (15%), which was aged on its lees. I found it at the MLCC (the Madison Square location – I haven’t seen it anywhere else) for $15.38 before taxes.

So far so good. A nice Loire Valley wine for around $15. When I poured the wine, it showed a very light golden colour, with just a hint of green around the edges. The nose was nothing special. Lots of minerals and flint with a hint of something grassy. It didn’t smell like a traditional Loire Sauvignon Blanc, but I wasn’t picking up much Chardonnay on the nose either.

Things got much better once I actually tasted it. In the mouth, it showed off lots of Sancerre-esque crispness and zippy mineral flavours, but with a bit of a softer feel to it. The flavours continued to develop, with tangy apples and more grass following the minerals. And the finish was amazing – very long and dry. In short, it was really good, and a great value. I plan to enjoy more of it this summer.

The winemakers suggest serving it up with spicy food. That could work, but I’d probably be happier pairing it with one of the old standbys for Sauvignon Blanc. So be conservative and serve it up with lighter fish dishes (including Manitoba pickerel), lighter food with lots of herbal flavours or anything with goat cheese. With the presence of Chardonnay, even a lighter cream sauce might work. Try this little treat for a good match.

Baked Goat Cheese Bites

Take 8 ounces of soft goat cheese and roll it into small rounds (about the size and shape of a cherry or a miniature boccocini). Mix fresh breadcrumbs with oregano (dry or fresh) and set it aside. Roll the cheese balls in olive oil and dip them in the breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees Celcius for about 15 minutes or until golden. Let them cool for 5 minutes and mix into your choice of salads (I find it works well with a blend of fresh lettuce, baby zucchini slices, sweet onions and lots of herbs with a Dijon-based dressing).

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7 comments

  1. What vintage ???


  2. Not sure (it’s been awhile), but I think it was the 2004 vintage.


  3. It is not upriver from Sancerre, it is downriver. Check the map.


  4. I had this wine several years ago and fell in love with it. And haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Found it in a small shop downtown east village NYC recently, then they stopped carrying it. Now that I know the importer I should be able to get my hands on some. If anyone knows of a retail location in New Jersey or NYC. Please drop me a line. Merci!


  5. Hey Dave, we sell this wine for $15 at Thirst Wine Merchants in Fort Greene, Brooklyn–come on down!


  6. a friend just gave me a bottle after a trip to the source — well, the american source — no one else noted it’s a kermit lynch import? it is, or at least the 2007 is. i say always give kermit, the best importer of great, great-value french wines, his due … nice wine. not as good as his private-label sancerre, but at $16 (price in his berkeley shop) vs, $25, a very good deal.


  7. I love this wine! Been drinking it for several years; they produce a nice rosé as well (from Cab Franc?), which I recommend.



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