Marc Bredif Vouvray Classic 2012
Region: Vouvray AOC, Loire Valley, France
Grape: 100% Chenin Blanc
Price: around $20
Sometimes, things work out. Last Friday just a few hours after I had written a post on Chenin Blanc, I went to have dinner with some friends. As I took a look at the wine list, my eyes got caught on a bottle of Vouvray, probably the most famous Chenin Blanc AOC in France. I thought this was 1) a sign, and 2) a pretty damn good occasion to illustrate what I had just written about. Also, the bottle was pretty cheap for a restaurant, around $30 I believe. In short order, the bottle was ordered, opened and laid to rest in an ice bucket.
As I started to give some Chenin Blanc background to my (American) friends, I realized something. It would be difficult explaining Chenin Blanc without mentioning greengages given the fact that this is often the main aroma of the variety. I have never seen greengages in US grocery stores, even though they are pretty common in France. They’re a small, green variety of plum (called reine-claudes in French) so I had to give that bit of information. It was more useful than I thought since the wine turned out to be very greengagy indeed.
Eye: pale gold
Nose: Clean, medium intensity, stone fruits (greengages), citrus and flowers
Palate: Off-dry, high acidity, medium body, long finish (grapefruit)
Considering I drank this wine the evening after I wrote my Chenin post, I kind of went for a mental checklist while tasting it. Style? Off-dry. Acidity? Very high, mouthwatering even. Greengage aromas? Yes sir! On the nose, and on the palate both. It is a refreshing, medium body wine that checks off pretty much all characteristics of a Vouvray. The final is pretty long too and there are notes of grapefruit and white flowers to complement the greengage.
Food pairings: I had it with fried chicken. Given the high acidity of the wine any fatty dish would make for a good pairing. I think creamy cheese for instance would be a nice match.
Overall opinion: Good example of a classic off-dry Vouvray with a vibrant acidity for a reasonable price. I’d strongly recommend it if you want to get a good idea of what a French Chenin Blanc should taste like (or if you’re curious about the greengages thing)