Savennières, an exceptional dry white wine from the Loire
It is often considered as the lord of the dry white wines of the Loire. Savennières offers great finesse combined with remarkable aromatic richness and intensity. The AOC is produced on very well exposed hillsides on the right bank of the Loire, opposite other prestigious appellations of the Anjou-Saumur vineyard. In the heart of the Loire Valley, this AOC has been enriched in 2011 with two new renowned appellations: savennières-coulée-de-serrant and savennières-roche-aux-moines.
General presentation of the appellation savennières
The Savennières appellation area is located in the Maine-et-Loire, about fifteen kilometres south-west of Angers. The AOC is produced in the communes of Savennières, Bouchemaine and La Possonnière. The vineyard overlooks the Loire and faces the AOC quarts-de-chaume, coteaux-du-layon-premier-cru-chaume and coteaux-de-l'aubance.
Chenin Blanc, the emblematic grape of the Loire, is the only authorised variety. The vines occupy about 140 hectares spread over a schist plateau that slopes down to the Loire. The latter benefit from an exceptional situation: favourable soils, a semi-oceanic climate, rare storms, ideal sunshine... All these factors combined give rise to great dry white wines of high maturity. There are also sweet or mellow savennières, but they remain rare.
In 2011, two lieux-dits previously considered as geographical denominations were recognised as full AOCs: La Roche aux Moines (about 33 hectares) and La Coulée de Serrant (about 7 hectares).
Characteristics of Savennières
The white wines of the savennières appellation are dry, structured and rich in aromas. Underneath their deep golden yellow colour with straw hues, a bouquet of jasmine, fern, acacia, lime blossom and camomile is revealed. Fruity notes also appear: grapefruit, white peach, pear. Aniseed, honey and quince paste can further enrich this complex and intense aromatic palette. With age, the savennières takes on amber tints and its aromas evolve towards dried fruit and beeswax.
On the palate, a savennières AOC is usually very fresh with a hint of bitterness and minerality. The aromatic persistence is high.
It is also a wine that can be kept for a long time. A savennières AOC reaches maturity after 5 years of ageing. It can be kept for up to 15 years, or even 20 years or more for the best vintages.
How to taste a Savennières
A savennières AOC is a gastronomic wine par excellence. It goes well with noble products such as scallops, truffle dishes, monkfish... This dry white wine is also recommended for poultry, white meat and fish cooked with cream. Mushroom fricassee, sweetbreads, white pudding... are also among the dishes to be served with this Loire wine. Finally, for daring combinations, try spicy dishes, with curry for example, or sweet and sour. As for cheeses, it is the blue-veined cheeses that win its favour.
For its serving temperature, it is advised to taste it at about 12°.