Refreshing, Delicious Dry Loire Valley Chenin Blanc. $19

A crisp delightful everyday white from near Vouvray

Chenin blanc has an enormous range of expression. It can be anywhere from bone dry to very sweet depending on vintage, terroir, and winemaker. Vouvray is the original source for Chenin Blanc, but the surrounding towns in the central Loire Valley produce excellent examples as well.

Several years ago we spent a few days in the Loire searching for a new source for Chenin Blanc. We enjoy the sweet stuff from time to time, but our main goal was to find a dry, refreshing, unoaked, affordable Chenin. Today’s wine is the result of that search, and it’s become one of our most popular bottles of white from anywhere.

Nicolas Paget is an energetic and impassioned young winemaker in Touraine-Azay le Rideau (a neighbor to Vouvray). Like much Loire wine today, Paget’s wines are organic and low-intervention in style. They’re aromatically expressive and beautifully balanced — lush exotic fruit presented in a clean, fresh package.

Paget’s 2020 Melodie is lovely, with an almost Chablisien array of grapeskin and minerals — clean, pure and delightful. The nose is floral and dry, with faint pear notes and a hint of apple. Even in a warm year Paget has managed to craft a refreshing cuvée — at 13% alcohol it’s beautifully balanced, and a refreshing break from the palate-coating wines that dominate the market these days. Serve with fresh goat cheese on crusty bread, or with asparagus on Easter Sunday.


Paget Chenin Blanc “Melodie” 2020
bottle price: $19

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