Monday, January 13, 2014

French Wine: A Sauvignon Blanc From Burgundy

The Simonnet-Ferve Saint Bris 2012 was on the Whole Foods Market list of the Top Twelve Wines for the Holidays.  Labeled as a Grand Vin de Bourgogne, the white Burgundy is from the Saint-Bris appellation in Chablis.  It rings the alcohol bell at 12.5% and is bottled under natural cork.

Chablis, the northernmost region in Burgundy, produces notable white wines made of Chardonnay grapes, but Sauvignon Blanc?  Isn't that from the Loire Valley?   It is, in fact.  But Sauvignon Blanc is one grape from the Chablis region permitted to use the generic name of Bourgogne AOC.  Also included in that group are Aligote, Cesar, Gamay, Melon de Bourgogne, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sacy, and Tressot.

Sauvignon Blanc has been growing around the village of Saint-Bris-le-Vineux since the ancient Romans were busy leaving broken pottery for us to find centuries later.  The Saint-Bris white wine appellation was created in 2003 and specifically references the area's crisp, cool-climate wines made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

The wine is a pale straw tint in the glass, with a very grassy nose sporting a big note of lemon peel and grapefruit.  Flinty minerals are abundant, as are tart citrus flavors which last long on the finish.

The folks at a Whole Foods say to pair it with creamy cheese, roasted turkey, fennel and orange salad and butternut squash soup.

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