Saumur-Champigny: a great red AOC wine from the Loire
In the heart of the Loire Valley, between majestic castles and ancestral abbeys, the vines still enrich this unique landscape. On the banks of the longest river in France, vineyards are spread out from which many AOC wines are produced. To the west, between Angers and Tours, the Anjou-Saumur vineyards are the source of 27 appellations, including the AOC saumur-champigny. Exclusively vinified in red, mainly based on Cabernet Franc, this wine is easy to drink and expresses all the richness of its terroir and the know-how of the wine growers.
General presentation of the appellation
The vineyards of the Loire Valley are particularly extensive. To understand its diversity, it is usually divided into several sub-areas. Thus, the appellation area of saumur-champigny is included in the vineyard of Anjou-Saumur. Around these two towns, many wines are produced in all three colours, including Saumur-Champigny, the main red AOC of the Saumur region.
Not far from the famous AOC Chinon and Bourgueil, the appellation covers nearly 1,600 hectares in 9 communes around Champigny, in Maine-et-Loire, on the left bank of the river. The lords of Anjou had already recognised the virtues of the soils and contributed to the development of the vineyards, making Saumur an important medieval wine trading centre.
Here, the Cabernet Franc is king. The first red grape variety of the Loire, it gives its fruity aromas to the wines of Saumur-Champigny. It finds in this region a favourable environment and climate. Two other grape varieties are authorised in the AOC: Cabernet Sauvignon and Pineau d'Aunis.
Characteristics of saumur-champigny
The saumur-champigny is a pleasant, balanced, fruity and velvety wine, which can be enjoyed both young and after several years of ageing. It has a luminous ruby red colour that turns garnet with age. In its early stages, its aromas are oriented towards red and black fruits: raspberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant... To its fruity notes are added spicy touches (liquorice, nutmeg...) and vegetal (mint, fern...). As it ages, the wine offers more complex aromas tinged with spices and smoky, toasty notes.
Thanks to its high quality tannins, the saumur-champigny can be kept for a long time, between 5 and 20 years.
How to enjoy a saumur-champigny
When it is young, prefer a serving temperature of between 15° and 18°. A little more mature, Saumur-Champigny wine is best served at a temperature of 16-18°.
This red wine, both full-bodied and elegant, is known for its ability to be paired with many dishes. It is therefore ideal to accompany an entire meal. A saumur-champigny will enhance game, grilled, roasted or stewed red meat, white meat stuffed or in sauce, fish, strong cheeses, red fruit desserts and other dishes.and as it comes in a wide range of prices, you will easily find a saumur-champigny ready to enhance all your dishes and convivial moments.