Posted on 12.12.20 Wine of the Week

Anjou Cheninsolite, Domaine Cady: a star from the Loire

Anjou Cheninsolite is a relatively unusual Anjou Blanc from Domaine Cady. Unusual, because Anjou is most famous for its vibrant rosé wines, hugely popular with French drinkers (in the UK, we tend to prefer premium alternatives from Provence).

Until this week, when I attended a ‘virtual tasting’, I had no idea that, until phylloxera struck in the late 19th century, white wines ruled this region of the Loire, centred on the town of Angers. Sweet wines then took over, and are still produced in tiny qualities, but these days, Cabernet Franc is the dominant variety, with most of it going into rosé.

Chenin Blanc is the Loire’s signature white grape and it makes some stunning, often tantalisingly textured, wines, including this week’s selection. 2018 Anjou Cheninsolite, Anjou Blanc, Domaine Cady (£13.95 at the Wine Society), made by Alexandre Cady, who has relatively recently taken over the family winery.

Fresh citrus leads into plump peaches and melon, with the racy acidity keeping everything in check. Full flavoured and waxy textured, the wine is well balanced and carries its surprisingly high 14% alcohol with grace (I honestly had no idea until I read the label).

This could certainly be a wine for Christmas, a lovely option for turkey or roast chicken, it would also be heavenly with grilled goat’s cheese and a perfect partner for a rich, creamy sauce of any kind.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Wine Society, or it conjures up an image of tweed jackets and salmon pink corduroys, then think again, as it’s one of the best places to buy wine. The oldest co-op in the country, owned by its members, it makes a big play of putting ‘passion before profit’, eschewing the vouchers and hollow promotional gimmicks of some of its rivals, to focus on prices that are normally unbeatable. I have been a member for more than 25 years and reading ‘the list’, its catalogue, still brings on a thirst.

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