Master class n. 1: Vouvray Sparkling wines
1. Couvée Privilège, Domaine du Margallau 2014
Mineral, fresh, dry, 2g dosage. Steel only, 48 months on lees, aging potential. I see this as an aperitif, it is too dry for anything else. Score 85
2. Feuilles d'Or, Domaine Herivault, biodynamic, 2012
Also mineral but rounder finish, better balance. Score 86
3. les temps d'Aimé, Dom Aubert NV
Intense nose, mod balance. Score 82
4.Chateau Gaudrelle extra brut 2014
Balances wine, mod complex, very dry, NO residual sugar. Score 86
Overall an interesting discovery of relatively lesser known sparkling wines from the Loire.
Master class n. 2: Vouvray and cheese
It was a lot of fun to try and pair the cheeses you can see in the picture, which ranged from blue to mid-aged one and were all from France except Gorgonzola. There are countless possible combinations, and in the end it is a matter of taste to pair by contrast (e.g. acidity of the wines and fat of the cheese) or concordance (e.g. sweetness of both wine and cheese).
My favorite of the above lineup was n.5, Champalou les Fondreaux 2018, a sweet wine that maintained adequate acidity, made with only natural yeasts, picked late with no added sugar, which paired with most of the cheeses on my plate! Score 86
I was personally surprised at how well the sparkling wine, contrast-paired with Gorgonzola.
The other feature which emerged this afternoon is the high degree of versatility of Vouvray chenin blanc, which allows for a wide range of possible pairings depending on vinification.