It’s an impressive mouthful of a name with an equally impressive personality. Cave Robert et Marcel 2016 Saumur Les Pouches hails from the Saumur [SO mur] appellation in the Loire Valley region of France (read more about the Loire Valley), where the grape varietal Chenin Blanc reigns supreme. I visited this region last year and wallowed in the beauty of gorgeous, well-made Chenin Blanc, a wine which offers all the rich, full bodied-ness of Chardonnay and the minerally driven, acidity of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s really been my favorite white grape for a while, pairing with a massive variety of food but also refreshing enough as a porch sipper. And I like to pour it for people who have no idea what wine they want to drink… my conversion rate is very high.
The Robert et Marcel story started in 1957, when 40 winegrowers got together to form a cooperative partnership to weather a financial storm. These Loire Valley vintners shared a dream of making wine that respected the land and tasted great. Fast forward 60 years, when the Robert et Marcel coop (Marcel and Robert are sadly gone) has 1800 hectares (that’s 4,400 acres to you and me) under vine and 300 vintners in the collective. They make wine from 12 different AOP wine regions in the Loire Valley.
Hopefully, they’re all as good as the Cave Robert et Marcel 2016 Saumur Les Pouches. The Les Pouches vineyard in the Saumur sub region has limestone soil which you can literally taste in the wine. The refreshingly crisp sip offers up layers of dried herbs, chamomile, lemon-lime, just underripe apricots, and white pepper. High in acid and minerals like limestone and wet slate, it can be enjoyed all day long. And the best part? This wine can be had for $10-$12 bucks! Highly recommended.
Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Occasion: Enjoyed with zoodles on pesto sauce (really). Sample sent from winery.
Availability: Might be tough to find but easier on the east coast.
Food Pairings: Chèvre goat cheese sprinkled with chopped rosemary, complicated Asian food, Mahi with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce, and, hell, try it with potato chips. Boom!