Loire Valley is a region within France that both illuminates and surprises me every time I brush up on the diverse appellations it showcases. The Loire river is responsible for keeping the temperatures as nature intended, a few degrees warmer based on individual macro climates along the stretch that begins on the east side from the land of Massif Central, all the way west to the Atlantic coast. At this time you may be wondering how the word "genuineness" comes into play here, alas, it has most to do with it. It is because I believe if there's one word that had to be reserved to forever describe the fondness I have with Loire Valley, it would be genuineness.
What I have come to appreciate most of Loire Valley is the ability to offer every type of wine category. It has sparkling, and tons of it. After Champagne, it produces the most sparkling wines in all of France. It produces aromatic textured whites from Melon de Bourgogne aka Muscadet and the dominate white varietal responsible for the famed Vourvay and botrytis-like wines and finally, the notable wines of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé which highlight Sauvignon Blanc in its finest mineral hour. That is only to discuss the whites of Loire Valley. But there's also lesser known varietals...
Sacy, the white varietal indigenous to the appealing wines of Saint-Pourçain AOP is known as Tressallier in the Auvergne region of Central France, located southeast of the Central region within Loire Valley. Oddly enough, the dominant variety title in the encépagement belongs to the international grape Chardonnay, with an option of ten percent Sauvignon Blanc. Some have compared Tressallier/Sacy to Viognier, yet I beg to defer. I see a resemblance in the texture and structure profile of Pinot Blanc. I bought the Domaine Nebout Saint-Pourçain 2009 last Spring. I remember trying it back in 2011 and I wanted to revisit its progression. What I witnessed in its first try was a mineral focused, funky and vague apricot nose that left me stumped. The palate was developing and it hadn't won me over, yet. When I took my second taste I decided that it would be more enjoyable five degrees warmer.
I suspect this wine style is enjoyed on a daily basis, but I chose to wait another year before indulging the bottle below for the second time.
100 percent Tressallier
It matured really nicely, at five years vintage. The nose subdued on the mineral front, retaining its funky tone with a pale golden hue. There existed soft white flowers, caramelized lemon rind, dried fruit leather of apricot flesh and subtly wet pebbles. I was in awe and bummed at the same time because I had opened the bottle I had no more chances of buying in this vintage.
But that's what it's about. We must live for today. What better region to sink your teeth into than Loire Valley. It's real, it doesn't pretend. And it most definitely lives up to genuineness.