It’s Time To Say Goodbye To Sauvignon Blanc

Au revoir, Sauvignon Blanc. (We’ve seen more than enough of you.) CHENIN BLANC, your time has come …

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Domaine Ogereau Anjou en Chenin 2015

How long will it be until you’re regularly asked if you’d fancy a glass of Chenin Blanc? Maybe not very. After a long spell in the shadows Chenin is stepping out, Cinderella-like, to show how brilliant its white wines can be in the two parts of the world that suit it best – the Loire Valley and South Africa. This is one of the most delicious Loire examples I’ve come across so far and it’s just right for summer enjoyment.

Appropriately for a grape variety with emerging superstar status, this Loire Chenin is made by a young wine producer who is himself a rising star. 28-year-old Emmanuel Ogereau represents the fifth generation of a family steeped in wine in Anjou, but my guess is that he’s more ambitious and more perfectionistic than any of his forebears. He took degrees in viticulture, vinification and the business of wine and worked in New Zealand, Oregon and Burgundy before settling down at the family estate which is now obtaining organic certification. And he’s passionate about the potential of Chenin Blanc.

“I created this wine because I wanted to show how expressive Chenin could be when grown on our schist soils on the left bank of the Layon river,” he explained during a recent visit to Dublin. Aged for a short time in 500-litre barrels, his Anjou en Chenin has a smooth, creamy texture as well as striking purity of flavour. You’ll detect notes of pear, apple and honey counterbalanced by the tangy, lemony acidity which makes good Chenin wonderfully refreshing besides helping it to age well.

This stylish white will help to turn a weekend summer dinner into a treat. If you serve it as an apéritif, it will taste even better with a few simple canapés – maybe a mild goat’s cheese on little toasts, or even just tiny cocktail tomatoes. It’ll suit a wide variety of first courses too, including many salads; asparagus; and vegetable-based dishes with a hint of sweetness like baked red peppers or butternut squash.

Alcohol: 13.5%

From Terroirs, Dublin 4 or terroirs.ie, €23.95

@MaryDowey

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