Wednesday, November 8, 2023

How Do You Pronounce Jasnieres?

The Loire Valley is known in some circles as "the Garden of France." The beautiful area has four distinct wine regions: Pays Nantais, Anjou, Saumur, and Touraine. Each region has its own grapes, appellations and styles. Along the banks of the Loire river are more than 3,000 wineries, more than 103,000 acres of vineyards, 33 appellations of origin and 1 protected geographical indication.

French wine appellations have a reputation for being difficult to pronounce, especially for beginners who don’t happen to be French. But even wine lovers with a long Gallic history can have trouble handling the names of the Loire. 

That is why Loire Valley Wines has teamed up with Katie Melchior (also known as @FrenchWineTutor) to create an audio guide to 10 appellations in the Loire Valley.

 Just download this infographic map, open it in Adobe Acrobat and click the audio icons to hear French pronunciations of 10 appellations on the Loire Valley map, read by Katie herself.

Here is an example of a region that many people might find difficult to pronounce: Jasnières - zhan-yare. This is a tiny appellation, one that once yielded wines that were chosen by a king - Henry IV. Today, fewer than 200 acres of vines remain. Janières is in the northernmost part of the Loire Valley, and so it is also the coldest part.

Pascal Janvier has taken the reputation of Jasnières to heart. The butcher-turned-winemaker is passionate about his wines, and his care shows in the juice.

Two of Janvier's wines are imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. After tasting one of them for the first time and marveling to myself about how good it was, I turned the bottle around and saw Lynch's name on the back label. "But of course," I thought, "it's a Lynch selection." Always a delight. 

The 2022 Pascal Janvier Jasnières is a white wine made from Chenin Blanc grapes. It is fermented and aged for a few months in stainless steel tanks. Alcohol is restrained at 13.5% abv and the wine sells for about $24.  

This wine has a beautiful golden hue and a complex nose. There are notes of guava, white flowers, lime and a soapy streak of salinity. The acidity is bracing. On the palate citrus minerals and an earthy aftertaste, almost soft despite the razor-sharp acidity. Get this for your shellfish, and don't be selfish. Share. 

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