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May 11 - 31

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MAY 2017 WINES OF THE MONTH

Sometimes you just find bottles which are outstanding values and make for good everyday drinking wines. Searching the lesser known regions of France can, no doubt, yield such results. For example, many are familiar with villages within the Loire Valley of France called Vouvray and Chinon, where they focus on Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, respectively. Lesser known, however, is the village of Saumur, which is just 30 minutes east of Chinon. Here they turn out some rather nice Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc of their own, and at great values. The Cave de Saumur was established in 1957 as a cooperative, where the vignerons of Saumur created a joint project in the face of difficult economics; their aim being to pool resources as well as knowledge and wisdom, thereby making better wine at lower cost.

"Les Pouches" Chenin Blanc 2016
This distinct Chenin Blanc is different from the often rich and slightly sweet ones for which Vouvray is well known, and even different than the drier and more rustic styles from the nearby village of Savennieres. This one is is dry, clean, austere, and bright, with notes of lemon, grapefruit, and peach. The grapes are harvested from 45 year old vines, and fermented completely in stainless steel, with no oak utilized. The profile is somewhere between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Given its high acidity, it is very versatile with food, especially seafood with cream sauce, roast duck, and Asian dishes. $8.99

"Les Pouches" Cabernet Franc 2015
Loire Valley Cabernet Franc is generally much different than the fuller bodied/fruit-forward ones coming from Washington and California. This one is light, delicate, earthy, and ruby red in color- not unlike a Pinot Noir. It shows hints of dried strawberry, cherry, and raspberry, with notes of dried leaves, black potting soil, a bit of cedar, and a very faint touch of ground coffee. The fruit comes from old vines, as old as 45 years, and is vinified without the use of oak. A red wine more for drinking now, rather than cellaring, also great for cooking and with/for stews and red meats. $8.99