Many people bemoan the cost of drinking juice hailing from the great granddaddy of wine regions, France. Yes, Bordeaux and Burgundy reign as the pièce de résistance of vin from this country but when you pull your almost empty wallet out of these collectors’ areas, many bargains can be grabbed.
Take the Touraine region, for instance. Nestled in the Loire Valley, southeast of Paris, the Touraine sub-region is better known for its Chenin Blanc (from Vouvray). But while Vouvray certainly satisfies part of the French white craving, I’ve recently turned my sights on the region’s other, crisper white varietal: Sauvignon Blanc (SB).
SB can be found elsewhere in the Loire Valley… in two other well-known sub regions: Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, both eastern neighbors of Touraine. This grape makes up the bulk of their wine production but there’s a HUGE difference between Touraine SBs and those from these two famous places. Half the price… sometimes even a quarter.
Jean Francois Merieau 2012 “Les Hexagonales” Sauvignon Blanc weighs in at only $14 and it rivals Sancerre in its crisp acidity, slate minerality and full frontal fruit. Your mouth wallows in green apple, stone fruit and citrus, finishing with tangerine dreaminess and a swath of tangy lime that lasts forever. Astounding, practically jaw-dropping value in this wine.
Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Price: $14- $16
Occasion: Sent as a sample from the winery.
Availability: Online purveyors like K&L Wine Merchant and if you’re lucky, on a shelf near you.
Food pairing:Fresh chevre is divine with this and it would sing with lighter seafood dishes like Shrimp with Sliced Fennel.