Wine Wednesday: Domaine du Salvard Cheverny

By John Garland
Domaine du Salvard Cheverny

John Garland // Growler Magazine

Can we please talk about cat pee for a moment? Not actual feline urine, rather the smell often prescribed to a sulphur compound named “p-mentha-8-thiol-3-one.”

In certain concentrations, said sulphur can smell precisely like pipi du chat (gosh, the French make everything sound elegant). In the world of wine, you’ll very often detect it in sauvignon blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. On occasion, same goes for the Loire Valley districts of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, which produce some of the finest sauvignon blanc in the world.

I bring this up because sauvignon blanc is hands-down my favorite white wine to drink in summer. And while I personally adore that funky, piercing, fermented-asparagus note in a white wine, I more than sympathize with those who do not. I accidentally ruined Marlborough sauvignon blanc for a cat-owning friend last week after suggesting that tasting note; now her mind can’t drop the association.

I get it. Sometimes that flavor is just overkill. That’s why it’s so much easier to retreat to a crisp, neutral sauvignon blanc from Chile or California, and not leave your dinner guests wondering if you keep Fluffy’s litter box inside your wine cabinet.

Allow me to suggest a compromise: a sauvignon blanc with bright acids and a solid structure, with a huge vegetal component that helps define, not destroy, the supporting flavors.

It comes from Cheverny—a French district on the Loire River midway between the cities of Tours and Orléans, where sauvignon blanc grows into powerful, exacting wines. The widely available Domaine du Salvard (~$19) is a joy to drink—herbaceous on the nose, vivacious on the tongue, with flavors of snap peas, bell pepper and a mineral-like lime zest on the finish. It’s an ideal summer quencher and would complement any light fare. Pair with a crusty bread, goat cheese and a lengthy lounge in the hammock.

About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.

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