Loire Valley White White To Add to Your Cellar
Aging wine usually smooths out the overall flavour of the wine allowing it become more harmonious, balanced and mellow which is fine for reds. There is however the little known exception to the rule.
Wine is a complex breathing substance. A bottle opened now will taste very different opened several years from now. What you should end up with after a few years of suitable aging is more complexity to the flavour of the wine because the bitter astringent flavoured tannins precipitate out, acids lose a bit of their bite, and the taste of fruit comes out more.
Most people are aware of the general rule that white wines should not be aged. For example most Californian wines are meant to be drunk immediately and should never ever be aged. Normally white wines should not be aged because they are short on tannis and it is the tannis present in red wine which allow it to age so beautifully.
But remember not aging white whine is a guideline and not a hard and fast rules. The exception to the rule are some French white wines which mature over some years. White wines of the Loire Valley typically improve with being aged from 5 to 15 years depending upon the AOC and the vintage. A new bottle of French Loire Valley white wine may be good, but a suitably aged bottle is even better.
The Loire is France's last great unrecognized wine region. Some of France's best winemaking occurs in the Loire though few Americans are aware of it. Even many French are unaware of some of the treasures now being produced in the Loire Valley. But sommeliers, wine-bar and wine-shop owners, the wine press from Paris, Brussels and London and Tokyo in the know spend their holidays touring the Loire Valley.
Balmy ocean air sucked up the corridor of the Loire River and its tributaries brings a tempering maritime influence far into France. The Loire Valley competes only with Paris and the French Riviera as the most popular tourist destination in France.
The Loire's major white grapes are Chenin Blanc, Muscadet and Sauvignon Blanc. Each of these grapes are grown in other parts of the world, but the Loire Valley establishes the benchmark.
Among its sixty-odd appellations are perennial favourites like Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, bistro classics like Muscadet, extraordinary sweet white whines like Bonnezeaux and Vouvray. Vouvrays are gorgeous wines, some of the longest-lived and most complex white wines of the world.
The best advice is to take a wine tour of the Loire Valley. No other wine region in France welcomes visitors with such warmth or simplicity.
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