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Anjou

Listed under Wine Regions in Loire Valley, France.

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Anjou's white grapes are predominantly Chenin Blanc, with a few rows of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blancs, and the reds mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, but a lot of people may recognise it from bottles of Rose d'Anjou and Cabernet d'Anjou.

The Anjou's Coteaux du Layon is one of the Loire's great sweet wine appellations – Chenin Blanc, in conditions which encourage Noble Rot, produces sweet whites with plenty of nose to them, both in their youth and age. Generally the most successful wines come from vineyards closest to the Layon river, Chaume producing some of the best.

Savennières is the other notable quaff of the Anjou region, this stuff grows north of the Loire on the right bank around Béhuard and Rochefort-sur-Loire, and is some of the driest white in the valley. Look for bottles by Nicolas Joly, Florent Baumard and Claude Papin, who are the ones drying out the Chenin Blanc to a degree that makes it popular on today's table. Chateau Pierre-Bise just off the road marked D54, and Domaine des Baumard, near the church in Rochefort-sur-Loire are two of the regions best dry vineyards. A good Savennières is supposed to offer the palate a surprising range of flavours from quinine and camomile to honey and minerals.

 

Written by  Nell Anderson.

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