Diversity is the spice of life! I love the fact that our world is filled with diversity in cultures, races, and religion. I embrace diverse styles of music, cuisine, sports, books, hobbies, etc. Imagine if everything were the same, one color of hair for all people, or height or beliefs, or feelings. Boring! I believe diversity is meant to be studied, understood, and celebrated like a tapestry or mosaic; especially the diversity of wine!
Thank goodness for the Anjou appellation of the Loire Valley! It is a true cornucopia of wine diversity. Furthermore, it is the April stop on our French Winophiles exploration of the Loire Valley. Anjou is filled with sub appellations that produce a large variety of unique and delicious wines. Because I could not chose just one sub-appellation of Anjou I decided to briefly highlight three.
From Loire Valley Wine: Anjou produces many of the Loire Valley’s best sweet wines Bonnezeaux, Coteaux du Layon and Quarts de Chaume, all made from Chenin Blanc. Anjou is also home to Savennières, a fascinating dry Chenin Blanc, as well as excellent red Anjou (made from Cabernet Franc) and the very popular, off-dry Rosé d’Anjou.
Savennières: located in Anjou, a historical political power that once rivaled the Kingdom of France for wealth and importance, Savennières is home to fascinating dry Chenin Blanc, it is a small appellation that have the ability to age for decades, 145 hectares of vineyards that produce full body mineral driven Chenin Blanc with round acidity and soft fruit notes; pair these wines with eggs, chicken, curries, seafood, creamy pastas and vegetables.
Château D’Epiré, Cuvée Spéciale, Savennières, 2013: This 100% Chenin Blanc poured a soft yellow into the glass; soft fruit notes of citrus and orchard fruit and white flowers take a back seat to prominent notes of crushed stone, slate, honey and lengthy minerality that delivers a true earthiness on the palate, crisp and clean; rich and round on the palate with refined acidity that results in a long well-balanced finish.
Crémant de Loire: also located in Anjou, Crémant de Loire is one of seven regions in France approved to produce Crémant, dry sparkling wines made in the same méthode traditionelle as Champagne, Crémant de Loire sparkling wines are crafted predominately of Chenin Blanc, 1200 hectares of vineyards produce sparkling wines with fine perlage and crisp acidity at value prices; pair beautifully with charcuterie and hors d’oeuvres, seafood, salads, oysters, crab, fried chicken, Asian and Indian cuisine and French fries.
Brut La Gaudrelle (NV), Crémant de Loire: When is the best time for Crémant de Loire? Anytime! This wine was crafted of 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Chenin Blanc and poured a soft golden yellow into the glass; and aromatic blend of crème brulee, citrus tart and apple crisp beckon for a sip; soft effervescence, crisp and clean on the palate with round acidity, tart and ripe with mouth-coating goodness and a lingering finish.
Rosé D’Anjou: my final exploration in the Anjou region; Rosé D’Anjou are slightly sweet wines, 2400 hectares of vineyards growing Grolleau, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pineau d’Aunis, Gamay, Malbec varieties; soft red fruit flavors with round acidity and a tickle of sweetness enable these wines to pair with a wide variety of foods year round, including, crab cakes, fritters, prosciutto with melon, spicy chicken enchiladas, and everything on your Thanksgiving and Christmas tables.
Barton & Guestier, Rosé D’Anjou, 2014: This wine was crafted of Cabernet Franc and Grolleau and poured a soft salmon into the glass; basket full of fresh picked red berries with watermelon, citrus peel and white pepper met the nose; soft on the palate this wine offered a flirtation of sweetness on the back of the palate that quickly dissipated into a fresh clean mouth-feel with good structure, round acidity and a clean finish. It was an elegant yet approachable Rosé with uncommon complexities.
These wines are so versatile they will each pair beautifully with a variety of foods or just for your sipping pleasure. I have been in a curry mood ever since I read Jeff Burrow’s article for March Winophiles called “Mussels & Muscadet in our Imaginary Nantes Bistro #Winophiles” where he explained there are five Thai restaurants in the city of Nantes in the Loire Valley. Therefore, I had a wonderful time sipping these three delicious Loire Valley wines while enjoying Slow Cooker Chicken Curry and Curried Chicken Salad with fresh fruit. Both recipes were easy to prepare, perfect for spring, and delicious with these Anjou wines.
Here is what my fellow #Winophiles discovered in Anjou/Saumer:
Alice from The Wine Culturist will be joining us and sharing her perspective from South America
David of Cooking Chat shares “Asparagus Chicken Bow Tie Pasta with Anjou Blanc Wine”
Jeff from Food Wine Click tempts us with “Seafood Brochettes with the Wines of Anjou & Saumur”
Jill from L’Occasion shares “5 Things I learned about the Loire Wines from a Bottle of Rose”
Martin from Enofylz Wine Blog gives us “A Taste of Loire: Saumur-Champigny #Winophiles”
Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva shares “Chenin from Saumur, Cabernet Franc from Anjou”
Please join us this morning at 10CST for our Twitter chat using #Winophiles. Additionally join us next month when our journey through the Loire Valley continues with Vouvrays from Touraine.
My Song Selection: Wines from Anjou are delicious, excellent value, and available in dry or sweet, sparkling or still, and in red, white and rosé; what more could one ask for from a wine region?!
Get your own bottles of wines of wines from Anjou and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!