Our group of 10 wine tasters ventured into one of the forgotten regions of wine production in France. We chose Vouvray the ground zero of Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Even though the appellation produces almost a million cases of wine annually you do not often see it on the shelves or displays of many wine stores and shops. To be honest Vouvray is not the first name to come to mind when choosing a wine for lunch or dinner. There are many stars who produce high quality Chenin Blanc such as Gaston Huet, Champalou, Phillippe Foreau, Domaine Pichot, Francis Pinon and many others. Huet has produced many late harvest wines which rank along with German Rieslings and French Saurternes as some of the top wines in all of Europe. Decanter Magazine and Wine Spectator have listed his late harvest wines as among the finest in recent times.
A major selling point in consuming Vouvray is that the price to quality ratio is very high. With the slightly foral nose and crisp acidity you have the perfect wine for spring and summer sipping and social occasions. The results of the tasting of six wines was that five of the six were well above average in quality and the price per bottle was usually well below $20. All of the wines chosen were all grower produced and of high quality. Vouvray would make an excellent gift for those people who enjoy dry wines with a good dose of floral aromas. The amount of Chenin Blanc grown in California is still very small compared to say the 1970's. I would give this piece of advise about California Chenin Blanc, they tend to be a little heavier in body and lower in acidity. They are still a good drink, but in my opinion not the match of a quality Vouvray.
Do yourself and friends a favor and seek out a Vouvray and experience a different flavor profile and stretch your wine horizons with a different white. I think you will come away with a very positive experience.