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2018 Val de Loire Blanc “Fié Gris”

Éric Chevalier
Discount Eligible $28.00
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Fié Gris, aka Sauvignon Gris, once thrived in the Loire Valley and Bordelais before falling out of favor due to its painfully low yields and the marketability of its lighter-hued sibling, Sauvignon Blanc. In Muscadet country, Éric Chevalier crafts one of the rare remaining varietal bottlings of this intriguing cultivar. His greets the palate with a bracing impression of lime flecked with shards of crushed stone. It feels luscious and exotic yet incredibly lively, like if a papaya got struck by lightning. Traditionally served with fish tacos (KLWM staff tradition, that is).

Anthony Lynch


Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2018
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Sauvignon Gris
Appellation: Vin de Pays du Val de Loire
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Éric Chevalier
Winemaker: Éric Chevalier
Vineyard: 20 years old, 2.5 ha
Soil: Gravel, silt/sand
Aging: Wines age on the lees for 8-10 months
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 13.5%

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About The Region

Loire

map of Loire

The defining feature of the Loire Valley, not surprisingly, is the Loire River. As the longest river in France, spanning more than 600 miles, this river connects seemingly disparate wine regions. Why else would Sancerre, with its Kimmeridgian limestone terroir be connected to Muscadet, an appellation that is 250 miles away?

Secondary in relevance to the historical, climatic, environmental, and cultural importance of the river are the wines and châteaux of the Jardin de la France. The kings and nobility of France built many hundreds of châteaux in the Loire but wine preceded the arrival of the noblesse and has since out-lived them as well.

Diversity abounds in the Loire. The aforementioned Kimmderidgian limestone of Sancerre is also found in Chablis. Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur boast the presence of tuffeau, a type of limestone unique to the Loire that has a yellowish tinge and a chalky texture. Savennières has schist, while Muscadet has volcanic, granite, and serpentinite based soils. In addition to geologic diversity, many, grape varieties are grown there too: Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne are most prevalent, but (to name a few) Pinot Gris, Grolleau, Pinot Noir, Pineau d’Aunis, and Folle Blanche are also planted. These myriad of viticultural influences leads to the high quality production of every type of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert.

Like the Rhône and Provence, some of Kermit’s first imports came from the Loire, most notably the wines of Charles Joguet and Château d’Epiré—two producers who are featured in Kermit’s book Adventures on the Wine Route and with whom we still work today.

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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174