“Que le soleil soit clair et beau, nous aurons du vin plus que d’eau.”
(“May the sun be clear and beautiful, and we will have more wine than water.”)
The Loire Valley is located in central France near the middle stretch of the Loire River. The valley has been inhabited since the Middle Paleolithic era and today is lined with many historic, scenic towns. In fact, it is noted for its historic towns, architecture and, of course, wines. It is often referred to as the “Cradle of France,” or “Garden of France” because of the abundance of vineyards, fruits, and fields of artichokes and asparagus which line the banks of the river. The climate is moderate, with the river acting as sort of a boundary between weather to the north and south. Spring can bring early morning frost, while summers are hot with breezes though that serve to cool things down a bit.
In 1790 the Saget family established itself as one of the premier vintners in the area. In fact they are one of only a handful of estates which have survived this long. Now, for a point of relevance, that means they are entering their third century as wine producers, a true point of pride for any family. The grape selection is meticulously handled by experienced, skilled winemakers. It is this level of old fashioned know how along with an adventurous spirit which has enabled them to blend the acidity when the grapes are grown in the north with the fruitiness of their southern grown cousins. 2020 was an eventful year which featured a near-zero degree frost in mid-April. But the dedicated staff was able to harvest with no damage and unlimited optimism.
The Sauvignon Blanc grape is lord and master in this region and the wine makers here have been able to secure only the finest grapes available from north and south. The result is a wonderfully imaginative product, light, airy, fruity and dry. A true feast and adventure for the palate which seems to awaken each taste bud individually. This wine has now been awarded the designation of “Vin De France.” This is a title, a catch phrase really, that includes the most basic French wines as well as those of superior quality. It encompasses wines also that have shown great creativity, a talent for making wines outside of governmental restrictions or classifications. Formerly known as “Vin de Table,” or table wines, these wines were renamed so that they could compete with those thought to be superior in quality both in France as well as across the European continent.
It is always good to remember that Sauvignon Blanc is kind of like the parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, so there are similarities in aroma, appearance and taste. In the bottle and the glass it is a pale yellow color with a very slight hint of green. Do allow the sun as a background as natural light really reflects the color. The aroma of green apple will be noticed almost immediately. This is a fairly young wine, 2020, but it is well worth drinking now. It will benefit, naturally, from some aging, but it will not disappoint now. On the palate it is light and pleasant with some notes of fruit, mostly I’d say, lychee and pear with a wink may be of peach.
Years ago there was a commercial: “If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer.” Well, this is a real summertime wine. So, with that in mind, I will take some license and say, “If you’ve got a pool, this is the wine.” Also, this wine is a perfect example that you really don’t have to spend a whole lot to get a good bottle. A good wine is determined by taste. YOUR taste. If you don’t like it, it is no good. But if you do, if you would not hesitate to serve a wine to your most discerning guests, your favorite relative or oldest friend, that is a good wine. Really, you can say that about anything. But I think wines get the most criticism. Are the most widely discussed.
We paired this wine with roasted chicken thighs and it was perfect. I also would say it would go very well with flounder or trout. Keep it simple and you cannot go wrong. This wine will complement any table, any backyard gathering, any dinner, formal or informal. So, sit back and enjoy it.
Alcohol – 12.5%
Price – about $12