MCF Rare Wine

The Rainwater of Savennieres (?)

Verdelho from the Loire... the appellation of Savennieres, home to some of the finest and most ageworthy Chenin Blanc in the world?

Verdelho from Savennieres that has the texture of great, slightly off-dry Chenin Blanc, but has the savory focus of Verdelho?

What the H am I talking about?

Well, exactly that...

It sounds like some kind of mad-scientist winemaker experiment but, believe it or not, Verdelho in Savennieres is actual a historical thing.

It actually goes back to the 18th century.  The Verdelho was planted among the Chenin vines (even in the prestigious Coulee de Serrant vineyard) and was traditionally blended right into the Savennieres wines.

Evelyne de Pontbriand, the proprietor of Domaine du Closel, decided to buck tradition, though, and now bottles the Verdelho by itself and the result is one of the coolest and most unique wines coming out of the Loire.

She dubbed it 'Eau de Pluie' (Rainwater) as a nod to Verdelho's role in Madeira's lightest style of wine.

Let's be clear, though, this wine is all Loire.

Like I said above, this is Verdelho with the texture and personality of Chenin, and while that should tell you all you need to know, as I type it out, it somehow still doesn't quite communicate the whole picture.

However, describing it as a really intensely oily and viscous Chenin with a very wild salty/savory streak and a great punch of palate-cleansing acidity on the finish seems to do it more justice.

Really, though, what this crazy-delicious wine reminds me the most of is Henry Marionnet's sublime Provignage (made of Romorantin, incidentally) which is very high praise, seeing as Provignage sells for more than double the price!

Along with the Guirardel wines from the Jurançon I wrote about a few weeks back, this is easily among the coolest and most unique and delicious whites we've featured this year.

Enjoy it now with a cheese board or some nice Asian food or sock some away in your cellar and marvel at what it becomes in 5-10 years!

Either way, just try it!

Matt Franco

MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
237 West 13th Street
New York 10011