Wine of the Week: Domaine FL Savennières Chamboureau 2016

Our latest wine of the week is a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, with tropical flavours of pineapple, peach and lemon

Chenin Blanc gets a bad rap. With its high acidity, the much-maligned grape variety winces eyes and turns up noses in equal measure. And yet, despite its spiky piquancy, it can create incredibly bland, neutral wines if not properly controlled and cared for — yielding yawn-inducing, cheek-tightening results.

Thankfully, this 2016 Savennières Chamboureau from Domaine FL doesn’t suffer such mediocrity. Instead, it’s almost too dynamic — popping its cork and kicking down the door with bold, unexpected tropical notes and a body both full and strong enough to take on even the most adventurous food pairings. Let’s have a try…

On the eyes: Bear with us — because this is an exciting wine. Unfortunately, when decanted, it doesn’t look much different to your standard supermarket Chenin Blanc. There are no nods to any vibrant notes in its decidedly un-vivid appearance. Instead, on the eyes, the 2016 Savennières Chamboureau looks to be lacking; a pale, straw-coloured pour unlikely to get hearts racing or mouths watering...

On the nose: Here we go. Savour a deep, drawn-out sniff and that vibrancy we vouched for will begin to present itself. On the nose, the 2016 Savennières Chamboureau first offers up the well-rounded whiff of grapefruit and green apple we tend to associate with top Chenin Blancs. But, unlike the others, there are tropical touches peppered across the profile — from peach and mango to an unexpected zing of ginger.

On the palate: Take a sip and all hell breaks loose. Those exotic hints you smelt above will explode on your tongue, with bursts of tingling pineapple, fragrant apricot and sweet, syrupy honey. There’s a sea salt minerality swirling around in there, too — meaning the whole glassful goes down like a luau in the Loire Valley. It’s energetic but soft; familiar but fresh.

On the finish: And, for its last trick, the 2016 Savennières Chamboureau switches things up yet again. From sprightly tropical tastes, the wine pivots towards comfort — with well-rounded baked apple pushing forward and introducing homelier notes of nuts and soft custard. Even the racy minerality slows down, bringing the whole mercurial mouthful to a gentle, satisfying end. It’s a real rollercoaster — and one you won’t believe is powered by common Chenin Blanc…

Domaine FL Savennières Chamboureau 2016

Domaine FL Savennières Chamboureau 2016


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Looking for more wine picks? Check out this Umani Ronchi Centovie Pecorino 2018…

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