If you can’t quite make it to your favorite outdoor café in Nice this week, sipping a glass of this highly quaffable French white on the patio has got to be the next best thing. Château Pigoudet, located in the north of the “Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence” appellation, has blended the plump, floral Vermentino (87%) with the bright, steely Sauvignon Blanc (13%), to create a light, cool, sophisticated wine that's as airily refreshing as a Mediterranean breeze. Although the more familiar examples of Vermentino come from northern Italy (particularly Liguria) and the island of Sardinia, the grape variety is also found in France, where it is usually referred to as Rolle. Brilliant pale yellow in color, this offers fresh, airy flavors and aromas of peach, almond and Provençal herbs, with notes of white grape jam and spring flowers hovering in the background. Great by itself, or with light seafood, poultry, or mild cheeses.
Made from a blend of Gros Manseng and its country cousin, Petit Manseng, this delicious, moderately sweet white wine has turned out to be a favorite not only of our customers, but of our famously fussy wine staff! Bright flavors of apricot and lemon curd are precisely balanced by refreshing acidity and gentle sweetness on the finish.
Although Cheverny is not well-known compared to other the Loire Valley appellations, such as Pouilly-Fumé or Sancerre, with which it is often compared, in certain respects it is even more interesting. Unlike Pouilly-Fumé or Sancerre, which are made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, Cheverny uses a substantial percentage of Chardonnay, the archetypal grape of white Burgundy. The use of Chardonnay gives Cheverny a roundness, juiciness, and soft opulence that is most appealing. Domaine Sauger dates back to 1870, and this cuvée is made from the estate's oldest vines, which provide even greater depth than its regular bottling. Michel Labardin calls this a "summer sipper suprême," and I would be hard-pressed to disagree.
In Portuguese, Vinho Verde means "green wine," but that is not a reference to its color, which is a brilliant yellow-white, but to its vivacious, youthful character. Made from a blend of native Portuguese grapes, Loureiro, Trajadura, and Pederna, with a little bit of Alvariñho, this Vinho Verde offers vibrant aromas and flavors of citrus, apples and flowers, and finishes with a light, refreshing sparkle.