My local wine shop did not have an overwhelming selection of Loire Valley whites and of what was there, the Sancerres, Pouilly Fumes and Chenin Blancs were all pretty expensive (over 35 dollars). So, instead, I opted for the Pascal Jolivet (warning: awful FLASH website) Attitude sauvignon blanc, which was CDN$21.75.
I tasted the wine with my tasting buddy/spouse, Tobias, and our conversation didn't go exactly like this:
ME: Huh. So, whatta you think?
TOBIAS: I dunno. Whatta you think?
ME: I dunno. Whatta you think?
but it was pretty close.
This was a delicate wine, and very unlike the New Zealand sauv blancs we're used to. I don't drink French whites in general, and I wonder if maybe my palate isn't developed enough to fully appreciate them yet.
The wine was goldeny straw in colour and had minerals and butter but practically no fruit on the nose. The flavour was grassy and slightly lemony and sour. I wouldn't say I didn't like it, but I wouldn't say I did like it either. It was just very unfamiliar.
The flavour did work very well with our dinner of fried ling cod, dilled baby potatoes and pea and pea shoot salad. The salad dressing was quite sweet, with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar, and the dryness of the wine was a nice contrast.
Far from being disappointed by my experience with the Pascal Jolivet, however, I'm actually kind of excited that there's a whole region that I don't know anything about, and lots of new wines to try (when I can scrounge up the 35+ dollars, that is!). Also, I'm reminded that I'm still very much at the beginning of my wine education, and that's a nice place to be.
So, thanks to Alder of Vinography for suggesting something totally new to me, and I look forward to trying more Loire Valley whites before the end of the summer.
All my wine-related posts are here.
Stay tuned on Tuesday for a bit of an antidote to my complaining about the price of the French whites. I'll be posting a description of four cheap wines we bought last weekend, with varying results.