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Caves des Vignerons de Saumur "Saumur Blanc" Lieu-dit Les Pouches

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Caves des Vignerons de Saumur "Saumur Blanc" Lieu-dit Les Pouches: a Review

Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what life is then to a man that is without wine? for it was made to make men glad.
    —Ecclesiasticus, ch. 38, v. 1

(Our sample bottle was purchased by us at standard retail.)

About Caves des Vignerons de Saumur "Saumur Blanc" Lieu-dit Les Pouches

"Saumur Blanc" is an appellation in the Loire Valley; in the Saumur Blanc appellation, the wines can be up to 20% something other than Chenin Blanc, but this one is 100%, made from grapes grown on 45-year-old vines. "Caves des Vignerons de Saumur" is an extensive regional wine co-operative—and it is in the process of changing its name to "Robert & Marcel" (presumably for marketing reasons). The co-op produces several place-named Saumur Blancs (lieu-dit means roughly "place-name"), of which "Les Pouches" is one, being the name of the single vineyard from which the grapes were sourced.

Caves des Vignerons de Saumur "Saumur Blanc" Lieu-dit Les Pouches is widely available in the U.S., at prices from as little as $9 on up to $17 (average around $13). The wine is a light 11½% alcohol.

Caves des Vignerons de Saumur "Saumur Blanc" Lieu-dit Les Pouches: Tasting Impressions

Writing of Saumur Blanc, Jancis Robinson refers to it as a "plain, unadorned Loire Chenin Blanc", with a "fruity, appetizing nature" showing "lots of acidity and some honeyed, almost peachy flavor but noticeably more body and 'breadth' than the Riesling grape would give." Well, close, for us. We got more of a straw/flower quality than honey/peach, though it definitely gave that good Chenin Blanc sensation of sweetness without the sweetness itself. (Also, the Rieslings we tend to keep company with have some heft, so that comparison stumbles.)

This wine crystallizes a larger question that, if you will bear with us, we will digress to. Much is made in wine reviews of "QPR", Quality-to-Price ratio. This wine, for example, must surely rate quite hgh on any QPR basis. But QPR as a measure does not deal with thresholds, which can lead to what we call the "Wow! I coulda had a V-8!" syndrome. That is, there is certainly some point at which the Q part is so low that the P part is immaterial: if a rather dire but barely drinkable wine is 75 cents a bottle, that's probably still a pretty good QPR, but who wants it? QPR falls apart at the lower bounds of Q. The real measure, we suggest, is really rather simpler: Would I buy this wine again?

Reverting to the wine at issue, our answer is a definite "Yes, we would buy it again" (and we will). It is not a great wine, but we daresay its best friends wouldn't claim that it is. It is, however, a wine of sufficient quality as to be pleasant to drink, pleasant enough to avoid the "V-8" syndrome. As Jancis Robinson suggests, a simple but honest Saumur is an excellent way to get a basis for Chenin Blanc, and that one can pay more for better specimens does not detract from the charm of this one. Recommended.

Caves des Vignerons de Saumur "Saumur Blanc" Lieu-dit Les Pouches: Other Opinions

On CellarTracker.

On Wine Searcher's Tasting Notes page.

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This page was last modified on Sunday, 17 October 2021, at 2:02 am Pacific Time.