If you know Loire Valley wines then you are probably familiar with Chenin Blanc. But even in the Loire Valley not all Chenin Blancs are the same.
To get a sense of the breadth of Chenin Blanc styles take a look at Vouvray. Situated within Touraine in the Loire Valley, Vouvray knows Chenin Blanc well and it should because it is the only grape they grow there. Chenin Blancs from Vouvray range from pale bright yellow and dry with citrus flavors along with balanced minerality to deep golden, silky and sweet due to late harvesting and noble rot.
Vouvray can be made into sparkling wines as well using the méthode traditionnelle. A pairing of courses from Ink48 Restaurant at The Press Lounge rooftop proved it has a versatile flavor profile too.
First the sparklings. Few things spell celebration and summertime drinking like a glass of bubbles. Champagne reigns but if you want a good quality sparkling wine for not a lot of money a sparkling Vouvray will do just fine.
Two good examples include the Benoit Gautier, Methode Traditionelle, NV with citrusy and toasty notes along with good effervescence and a crisp François Pinon, NV made from Chenin Blanc grapes harvested from 25 year old vines and grown on soil consisting of limestone and flint. The wine shows pronounced but balanced acidity. Have them with oysters on the half shell.
Among the whites, a Domaine Gaudron, 2012 from an over century old vineyard with some vines dating back 30 years demonstrates a floral and delicate nose and soft supple notes of tropical fruits and apricots. The Vincent Raimbault, Bel Air, 2013 is produced using sustainable methods from about 66 percent of vines that are 30 years or older. The result is a wine with pronounced citrus notes, balanced acidity and a clean crisp finish.
Vouvray comes semi sweet as well proving the wide range of style interpretations associated with this grape. One of these is the Domaine d Orfeuilles, Les Condraies, 2009. This vintage has a soft and silky texture as well as rich notes of green apples and luscious peaches. If you like fruit dominant Gewürztraminers and Rieslings this semi sweet Vouvray is a good candidate from The Loire Valley.
Barsac, Sauterne and late harvest riesling drinkers will likely find the Philippe Foreau, 2011 appealing. This biodynamic sweet wine is full of ripe fruit and honey notes and follows with a soft and silky finish.