While Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume will always represent the top end of Sauvignon Blanc expression in the Loire, there are endless and ever-emerging sources for great values up and down the river and back again. The region of Cheverny sits at the Northeastern end of Touraine, long known as a prestigious sport hunting area but also unique in that their AOC wines are a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and tank aged Chardonnay. Domaine du Salvard has been a prominent estate in Cheverny since the late 1800s (also one of importer Kermit Lynch's first wineries), but they use their family name for the wines that fall outside the Cheverny designations. This Sauvignon Blanc is 'Unique' in that it is in fact 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Always a vibrant and mineral driven wine with lots of green zest and a cool, almost minty aromatic, this is a wine of great energy at every level. What more, it is a value that stands out from others around it year after year, distinct and individual without carrying a price tag to match.
Regular Price $15.99, $13.59/case
2015 CASTILLO MONJARDIN GARNACHA 'LA CATENA' NAVARRA
All too often wines of a certain price point will tend to run together and develop a certain amount of same-ness. This especially happens with value oriented wines, where the act of growing the grapes cheaply doesn't allow them to develop as much nuance. There has been an explosion of inexpensive Garnacha lapels from Spain over the last few decades, most of which are quite tasty for the price but tend to stay in the very juicy, jammy and up-front fruit realm without much acidity and a sweeter finish. This is a welcome break in the pattern, bringing a much more savory flavor spectrum into the mix. Still shows an enjoyable ripe red fruit character on the nose, but stays away from the candied fruits with drier red and black cherry tones, hints of spicy strawberry as well as earthy tones. On the palate there are hints of the drier fruits found in classic Rioja which borders the Navarra region, but not quite as much of the tartness as well as a softer more polished finish. This is a heck of a value for those that tend to like wines that lean more towards the the 'Old School' profiles.
Regular Price $8.99, $7.64/case
2015 PORTUGAL RAMOS LOUREIRO VINHO VERDE
Vinho Verde (the wine) is a popular warm weather staple for many wine drinkers, an inexpensive white you keep a bottle or two of in the fridge for instant refreshment and little necessary thought. IN recent years Vinho Verde (the region) has become a bit over-identified with their most basic wine and started flexing its muscles to show the world the full spectrum of what they can create. This is a small step up from the most basic wine, featuring a single grape variety (Loureiro) and dropping a fair bit of the tingly carbonation, but still represents an excellent value.Loads of apple an pear aromas from the first pour, round on the palate with a lemon/lime acidity that pops more intensely when the wine is right out of the fridge. Still extremely easy to drink like the classic versions, but even more memorable.
Regular Price $9.99, $8.49/case
2016 CHATEAU FAMEY MALBEC ROSE
Pretty much every wine growing region in Europe, France for certain, has historically made rose as part of their yearly production. Few have become as well known in the world as those from Provence, but they have always been part of the landscape. This offering from Cahors should come as no surprise to anyone then, as the famous Malbec based 'Black Wines' regain their popularity. Don't think of the Malbec style that has developed in Argentina as a more New World type wine, this is straight out of the dry and intensive Old School that has more in common with Bordeaux. A pretty cherry juice color that sometime indicates a more fruit forward type rose, but lots of strawberry leaf and cherry skin on the nose show a much drier side. The palate is more towards the cherry fruit but has a surprising snap of acidity that keeps it refreshing, and provides a nicely full mouthfeel that usually found at this price. A fun and surprising warm weather wine to keep 2 or 3 of in the fridge at all times for easy consumption.
Regular Price $9.99, $8.49/case
2015 CHAMISAL VINEYARDS STAINLESS CHARDONNAY CENTRAL COAST
Many people consider 'unoaked Chardonnay' a four letter word. It's understandable in many way, as the fruit used in a lot of unoaked wines was the lowest quality that wouldn't hold up to any time in barrel. Over the years the quality of grape growing has improved, providing better and better raw material for the wineries, and the ability to raise the level of their unoaked wine game has improved as well. Examples like this will still see some of the malolactic fermentation which provides the buttery tones and soften some of the acidity, but the natural richness of the fruit doesn't need to be bolstered by aging it in oak. Round melon and white fruits abound here, with just a touch of apple and citrus on the palate to cut through on the palate and provide some freshness. This doesn't need the oak, you won't miss it at all, and it will be a perfect everyday food and cocktail option.
Regular Price $14.99, $12.74/case
2014 DOMAINE DE REUILLY PINOT NOIR
In the last Select Six we featured the Sauvignon Blanc from this Loire producer. The white wines from the Reuilly region are hard to find to begin with, which means Pinot Noir is a particularly rare bird indeed. We could say it's very similar to a Sancerre Rouge, but even those are hard to find, so that comparison isn't much help. Let's say it has a lot of similarity to a good basic Bourgogne but with a touch of minerality running through it from the limestone soils. And thanks to the benefit of an 'end of vintage' special deal, the quality far outreaches the price point, something you almost never hear for actual Burgundy. Polished red fruit and dried cherry aromas that don't smell as dark as the color would suggest, and silky on the palate with just a suggestion of the minerality bringing extra stone fruit dryness to the finish. Minimal filtration definitely adds texture a lighter wine can sorely miss, which helps this show well above the expectation of the price and the appellation.
Regular Price $15.99, $13.59/case
These wines regularly sell for $75.94
For Select Six June they are $64.99
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