Saturday, 5 September 2015

Finding the sweet heart of the Loire - WOTM

Enjoying our selection of french wines is part of any cruise on Serenity. Today, we're launching our new wine of the month feature with a look at an unusual dessert wine from the Loire.
We visited Domaine Henri Bourgeois in Chavignol with guests, while cruising on the nearby Canal Lateral de la Loire.  At the very generous tasting session we got to try a huge range of both their white and red sancerre wines and the Pouilly Fume from their vineyards across the valley. There was even a comparative tasting of the wines from the family's vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand.

I'm a big fan of the Sancerre region generally, but for me the standout was the 2008 Vendange de la Saint-Charles, a sweet dessert wine. Unusually this wine is only made from Savignon Blanc grapes, rather than the more common dessert wine blend of majority semillon grapes and a small proportion of Savignon.  In years when the climate has been suitable the grapes are harvested several weeks later than the main crop, allowing their sugar content to increase.

Being solely savignon gives it a distinctive taste with lycee and tropical fruit notes, rather than the more typical honeyed fruit flavours.  Best served at 10°c, this season we've paired it with a wide range of desserts and cheeses, with rave reviews from guests.  

The winery entrance at Chavignol


Style: Dessert wine
Grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc
Vineyard: Henri Bourgeois, Chavignol
Region: Sancerre, Loire Valley

Served on the wine menu for our 6 night classic cruises (2015 and 2016)

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