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In an effort to shed some light on how I study for WSET Diploma Course’s D3 exam, Le Club des Vins is running a series of posts covering wine regions. Today’s topic: Savennières
Savennières is located southwest of Angers (where the purest French was reputedly spoken), one of the bigger cities in the Loire Valley. It’s a small appellation of just 140 hectares.⠀
In a nutshell
- Cool climate
- sandstone schist, some volcanic rock and sand
- Chenin blanc
- No chemical herbicides
Savennières has a cool climate, which leads to a piercing acidity in its wine. The biggest risks are frost and (too much) botrytis.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The vineyards are located on the slopes along the banks of the Loire. Shallow soils with sandstone schist, some volcanic rock and sand.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
🍇 Grapes & styles
It’s the chenin star of the wine world: chenin blanc. The French answer to riesling. Huh? Yes. It’s as versatile as the German grape, but Savennières has a focus on dry wines.
Savennières should not be drunk young. There, I said it. I usually get a bit angry and annoyed when people say ‘oh this wine is too young, you should’ve waited blabla’. Shut up. But in the case of Savennières, they are so right. It gets better and better – and for me, it’s usually (too) tart and acidic in its youth. Wines are often aged oxidatively to create more flavour and texture. Wait ten years and you’ll be amazed. Curious? Try Domaine des Baumard Clos de Papillon 2007. Other well-known producers include Domaine aux Moines and Nicolas Joly ❤️⠀
💡 Something you didn’t know (did you?)
Within Savennières there are two crus: Coulee de Serrant’ and ‘La Roche aux Moines’. The first is a vineyard of 7 hectares and entirely owned by Nicolas Joly, also known as l’enfant terrible of the region. A biodynamic hero. A couple of years ago, he was in the news because he refused to put the name of the appellation on the bottle. La Roche aux Moines is bigger, 22 hectares, owned by various farmers. Inspired by Mr Joly, under appellation rules the winegrowers must all farm without the use of chemical herbicides.
Your turn now
I always put a new region on instagram first. If you have any additions or comments on a region, please do share. You can drop a comment on instagram or on the website – see below. Your help is much appreciated!