Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Friday, 6 February 2009

Telegraph scoop: Savennières turns to Sauvignon!

Sauvignon Blanc in Quincy 2008 – never in Savennières!

'Top 10 Loire wines
the value and variety of lesser-known labels can be surprising'
(Jonathan Ray, wine correspondent, Telegraph 31.1.09)
‘I love the Loire Valley. I love gawping at the exquisite fairytale châteaux and scoffing the fabulous seafood and confit de canard.

The sauvignons blancs (such as Menetou-Salon, Pouilly Fumé, Quincy, Sancerre and Savennières) make great aperitifs or partners to first courses….’

‘And if the top Sancerres and Pouilly Fumés are sometimes a bit pricey, then the less well-known (but often as good) sauvignons from Quincy, Reuilly or Savennières, say, rarely are.’

Oops Jonathan! Savennières is one of the glories of Chenin Blanc. Indeed it may have been its birthplace, although Jean-Hubert Lebreton (Domaine des Rochelles) surprised me last week by telling me that apparently Chenin’s origins may have been much further south in Les Landes. Anyway Chenin is mentioned growing at Bouchemaine in the 9th century. So a Savennières made from Sauvignon Blanc would be both ‘surprising’ and ‘less well-known’.

Also if I’m being picky, which I am, I agree about the ‘fabulous seafood’ but confit de canard is not a particular speciality of the Loire.

Jonathan, however, is right about Loire Sauvignon Blancs going well with first courses. A half bottle of the attractively citric 2007 Les Vignes Blanches, Sancerre, Henri Bourgeois was perfect with a duo of smoked salmon and gravalax yesterday.


Anonymous said...


that blog title nearly caused me palpitations - the idea of CB being grubbed up to plant SB flew before my eyes - but just sloppy DT journalism after all.

It is odd, I can appreciate good Sauvignon Blance at a tasting as being well made and well stuctured, but I just can't stand the taste (relic of a chilhood aversion to gooseberries I think). So Chenin Blanc is my favourite still dry white wine - and thanks for the news from SA - it does seem to be the only place apart from the Loire where CB is widely planted - if they can start to produce more top quality wines from it all the better.


Jim's Loire said...

Thanks Graham. Sorry to have shocked you. I suppose at least Jonathan Ray was consistently wrong.