After a relatively mild summer here in Los Angeles, it has finally gotten hot. Sweating as soon as you step out the door, blazing unmerciful sun, the-hills-are-on-fire kind of hot. So the question we here at VINE-YL should answer for you is, what does one drink in this kind of weather? You want something thirst quenching and light, so yes, beer comes to mind, but this is not BEER-YL. We're all about wine and there are plenty of wines out there that are crisp, yummy and ultimately refreshing. Sauvignon Blanc is one of these wines.
Sauvignon Blanc is a native of the Loire Valley of France. It is also one of the main grapes, along with Semillon in white Bordeaux. These days Sauvignon Blanc is made all over the world, from California, to New Zealand and everywhere in between. They grow it in Chile, South Africa, Australia, Austria and many other winemaking countries. It varies from cheap and tart to crisp and sublime. But for me, the best of them come from the Loire, in regions like Sancerre and Touraine. The combination of the limestone soil and the cool weather combines to turn Sauvignon Blanc into a beautiful white. It is a wine with the kind of balanced acidity that pairs perfectly with seafood but can also cut through the fat of cheese and creamy dishes as well.
We have, surprisingly enough, never reviewed a Sauvignon Blanc on this site. That is certainly not because we don't like it, Derek and I love it in fact. We just hadn't found the right one yet. Francois Chidaine is one of those rockstar producers known mostly for his Vouvrays and Montlouis (made with Chenin Blanc.) At around $12, Chidaine's 2008 Touraine is Sauvignon Blanc in it's most simple and delightful form. The bouquet is packed with citrus notes of grapefruit and orange peel. On the palate there is more fruit with hints of melon and lemon and an underlying river-pebble minerality. A refreshing and lightly fruity wine that's the perfect thing to get you through these last dog days of summer.