Every Sunday, with an educational edge, I explore specific appellations or sub-regions, taking you along for the ride. If it’s old news, then brush up on some fading facts; if it’s uncharted territory, why not learn something new? If you know something I haven’t mentioned, then feel free to comment and share your experiences. Check out past Sunday posts here.
Château de la Sistiere near Cour-Cheverny
I was thrilled to discover a bottle from the French appellation of Cour-Cheverny during a quick visit to Marquis this week. Cour-Cheverny is a small commune in France’s Loire Valley, northeast of Tours and just south of the epic Château de Chambord – a castle once used as a hunting cabin for King François I. The 48 hectares (120 acres) of this tiny and relatively new appellation (since the 90s), are scattered throughout 11 neighbouring communes. This is the last refuge of a nearly extinct grape called Romorantin (pronunciation), cultivated since the 16th century and recently proven to be a sibling of Chardonnay. Romorantin is another one of those obscure Loire grapes, joining the company of Pineau d’Aunis and Menu Pineau, which offer an exciting wander from the major commercial grapes on the market. This is why the Loire has become my ‘go to’ for off the beaten track wines.
Domaine des Huards has been owned by the Gendrier family since 1846. Their 32 hectares of biodynamically farmed grapes go into making less than 15,000 cases of wine for the appellations Cheverny, Crémant de Loire, and Cour-Cheverny. The soils are mainly calcareous clay.
Domaine des Huards ’07 Cour-Cheverny
The first thing you’ll notice is the wine’s ripping acidity. It combines the citrus and green leafy or vegetal notes of Sauvignon Blanc with the waxy apple richness of Chenin Blanc. A great example of the very interesting whites from the Loire. If you don’t shy away from big acid wines, I urge you to swing by Marquis and pick up a bottle for an easy $22.
As always, please feel free to contribute any information, experience or tasting notes that you feel are relevant and check back next Sunday. Check out past Sunday posts here.