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Is it possible for something to have too much value? If true, then the Loire Valley, with it’s near overabundance of top-quality and well-priced wines, would qualify. It’s just hard to go wrong there. Looking for a white or red for the cellar? Try Savennières or Chinon. Perhaps you’d enjoy a bottle that has already been aged for you. Our Loire producers often hold back large portions of vintages to sell them in the future (hint… stay tuned for an email coming later in August). Sparkling, still, or sweet, the Loire delivers and therefore it’s no surprise that our top Chardonnay value doesn’t come from Burgundy, but from Éric Chevalier and his domaine on the western edge of the Loire Valley, not far from the Atlantic Ocean.
In this land of châteaux and sea breezes, Chardonnay soaks in the complex minerals of this region’s soils. Though you might be hard-pressed to point out the specific flavor of Serpentinite in a wine, this bottling has a distinct mineral aroma, like fresh rain on the rocky shores of a mountain river. But perhaps the most distinct characteristic of Éric’s Chardonnay is intrinsic to the grape itself. Good Chardonnay has texture and grain and that’s what you have here—it sinks into the palate and lasts and lasts.
So, no, too much value is not a thing, but some wines deliver well beyond expectations and the Chevalier Chardonnay is one of them.
—Clark Z. Terry
|Appellation:||Vin de Pays du Val de Loire|
|Vineyard:||10 - 15 years, 3 ha|
|Soil:||Serpentinite, eclogite, quartz|
If you're looking for value, look where no one else is looking.
Inspiring Thirst, page 211