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Domaine du Fresche Anjou Blanc 2010

Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
    0% ABV
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    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Clean, crisp and dry on the nose with some typical notes of apples and pears. The wine is bone dry with a chalky texture on entry and displays a good structure, with a lively apple-like acidity running through the wine. There is a hint of spritz coming from a little residual carbon-dioxide which helps to lift the impression of freshness and acts as a preservative. This is for immediate drinking, but could be expected to age for three to five years.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaine du Fresche

    Domaine du Fresche

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    Domaine du Fresche, Loire, France
    The family Boré have inhabited Domaine du Fresche for the past six generations. Alain's grandparents were mixed farmers, growing cereals and raising cattle, both for dairy and for meat, as well as making a little wine. But it was Alain's father and two uncles who began to focus their efforts in viticulture, and Alain himself has been working at the domaine since 1989. Today he farms a total of 30 hectares of vines, all situated in the commune of La Pommeraye on the south bank of the Loire, and enjoying commanding views over the valley and the river itself. Since 2004, all of Alain's wines have been certified as organic.

    The range at Domaine du Fresche is diverse, with Alain making around a dozen wines each vintage. This is a reflection of both the grape varieties planted and the appellations that encompass the vineyards that surround La Pommeraye. The white wines are based on Chenin Blanc, although there is a little Pinot Gris here too (known locally as Malvoisie). As is normal with Chenin in the Loire, the grape is fashioned into a number of different styles which include a Cremant de la Loire (sparkling), a dry Anjou Blanc and, when conditions allow, three individual sweet wines. Given that La Pommeraye sits just outside of Coteaux du Layon region, they take the name of the relatively obscure Anjou-Coteaux de la Loire appellation instead. There are only a handful of growers here and production is tiny (in 2008, only 28 hectares were in production), which also ensures that pricing is relatively modest in comparison to its better known neighbor. Alain also produces a pair of Rosés, one dry and one demi-sec, using Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and the locally known Grolleau. The three different reds are produced from either Gamay or Cabernet Franc.

    Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.

    The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.

    The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).

    The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.

    Chenin Blanc

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    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.

    Perfect Pairings

    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.

    Sommelier Secret

    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.

    PYWFRESCHEAB_2010 Item# 114482