Savennières is a tiny appellation in France’s Loire Valley that can make amazing wines from the Chenin Blanc grape. I’ve liked these wines, despite their scarcity, ever since I tasted the profound dry Chenins made by its most famous producer, Nicolas Joly.
Recently, I had the good fortune to enjoy a Savennières from a high-quality producer who has recently entered the American market, Joseph Renou et Fils. Joseph’s sons, Pascal and Hervé, now run the family-owned estate, Domaine du Petit Métris. I drank their dry bottling made from grapes grown in the Les Fougeraies vineyard, which features schist-based soils topped by a layer of sand and silt.
It is a structured white carrying the hallmarks of fine dry Chenin—powerful and somewhat dense flavors of quince, apple, glazed citrus and mineral. The finish was ripe, with notes of fennel. It was a perfect match for a dinner that featured potato gnocchi and basil pesto, with Arctic char, cherry tomatoes and extra pignoles. I rated it 90 points, non-blind, and it costs $30 a bottle.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the blind-tasting reviews for other wines from Domaine du Petit Métris.
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Savennières.