Domaine de L'Enchantoir Saumur Terres Blanches 2017
The vineyard is spread out across 17 hectares of land, where traditional Saumur vines blossom; Chenin, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. Domaine de L'Enchantoir cultivates their vines with respect to the tradition, in order to preserve the richness of the terroir and to improve quality each and every year.
All of Domaine de L'Enchantoir's wines are certified under the Appellation (AOC) system and also certified Organic (Ecocert) since 2016. Thanks to the distinctive terroir, their red wines are actually renowned for being part of the Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame appellation. These wines are made, aged and matured in Domaine de L'Enchantoir's historical and listed remarkable courtyard, where they balance traditional methods and modern technology to produce the best.
Their underground troglodyte caves can be visited from their courtyard – just a small insight into the large network found in the Puy-Notre-Dame Terroir – caves which are perfect for stocking and preserving wine.
Marked by great châteaux built with the same tuffeau limestone that is also responsible for the excavation of so many of the famed Loire caves, Saumur is famous for its Chenin blanc based sparkling wines. Inside the Saumur region, Saumur-Champigny creates some of the Loire’s greatest Cabernet Francs.
Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. While most would agree it reigns supreme when from its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin is the most planted variety in South Africa. California’s Clarksburg appellation is also winning more notoriety for its Chenin.
In the Glass
Chenin's drier versions commonly have characteristics of passion fruit, lemon, quince, green apple, saffron and chamomile while sweeter version express aromas and flavors such as yellow pear, white peach, persimmon, melon, ginger and honeysuckle. When aged in oak, qualities like meringue and brioche can be found. Sparkling versions often have yellow apple, ginger and floral notes.
Cool-climate Chenin blanc has the chalky acidity to work with light seafood such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food. The sparkling versions such as Saumur Mousseux, Vouvray Petillant and Crémant de Loire make amazing aperitif options that won’t bruise the pocketbook.
South Africa actually has double the amount of Chenin blanc planted compared to France. It is believed that either the Dutch navigator, Jan van Riebeeck, brought the grape to Cape Town in 1655 or the Huguenots fleeing France brought it in 1685. Either way, the South Africans have favored it for many centuries and make it in almost every style. Today a new wave of dedicated producers has committed to restoring old Chenin vines and finding the most ideal new spots for this prized variety.