April is here, and with it comes the cool side of spring—enough warmth to coax you outdoors, though Old Man Winter’s breath can still chill the back of your neck. The snappy textures, fresh aromas, and prim flavors of France’s Loire Valley wines epitomize the season, and we’ve found three lip-smacking examples to complement the weather.
Domaine Trotereau Quincy 2010
$20, Prestige Beverage Group
The little hamlet of Quincy is not as famous as the iconic town of Sancerre, but its wines deliver much of the same finesse for a lot less money. Meyer lemon, limestone, and a hint of fresh grapefruit define this succulent Sauvignon Blanc. A perfect match for all manner of seafood, but particularly crustaceans and shellfish.
Domaine Pichot Vouvray Brut 2010
$24, Bacchus Importers Ltd.
Chenin Blanc is a grape that calls the Loire its home, where it thrives on soils that are mostly ancient calcareous seabed. Chenin Blanc’s verdant aromas of orchid and hothouse greenery are in full bloom in this delightful bottle of sparkling wine.
Jean-Maurice Raffault Chinon “Les Galuches” 2011
$18, The Country Vintner
The town of Chinon’s vineyards are dominated by the Cabernet Franc grape. The Raffault Chinon is a stellar example, boasting a fleshy character with loads of bright-red fruits——pomegranate, currant, and cranberry——and just a hint of smoky black pepper.
>> The Loire’s most famous white-wine variety is Sauvignon Blanc, producing a racy, electric wine.