Loire White Wines
...As a whole they are light and invigorating, with palpable acidity. At the mouth of the river salt marshes quickly give way to Muscadet, the region’s first modern success story. It’s dry, salty and firm style makes it the perfect foil for seafood. Heading east, one finds the vineyards of Touraine and Anjou, home to Chenin, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The lush landscape is unlikely vine country and the vineyards generally coincide with bluffs of limestone, tufa and schist. Traditionally famous for its sweet wines, now also fine dry white wines are produced.
The reds, produced from Cabernet Franc, are some of the world’s most refreshing and vigorous, with raspberry freshness. The most evocative of the Loire’s appellations are Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. A little Pinot has made its way into these vineyards but this really is the dominion of punchy, blackcurrant-scented Sauvignon Blanc. Despite competition from New Zealand, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé have maintained their varietal prominence, principally because the growers are still prepared to sacrifice a little flavour in order to boost Sauvignon’s tactile thrill.