NV Vouvray Brut from Domaine d’Orfeuilles

Summer 2013. I certainly hope you’re all enjoying it, and I also hope you’ve all had reason and occasion to pop the cork on something fizzy. As we power ahead through the dog days of summer, there is a beacon that’s coming into view. Yep, I can foresee much celebration in the coming weeks. I must prepare myself. Let’s see, I’m not in a position to load up on grower Champagne (though special occasions merit special bottles), but I’m going to want to have a bunch of sparkling wine around. So what to choose, what to choose? That’s easy. Bang for your buck, it sure is tough to beat the NV Vouvray Brut from Domaine d’Orfeuilles. Our resident Champagne maven, Anya, once said that the d’Orfeuilles Vouvray Brut was one of precious few sparkling wines that she could enjoy and not wish that she was drinking Champagne. I concur.  Not only does its complexity outperform its pricepoint, its versatility is where it really shines. I mean it’s a great wine for brunches, cheese plates, fried chicken, potato chips, mussels, charcuterie, crab salads, pistachios, caviar, bacon, and of course, celebrations!

Domaine d’Orfeuilles was built over the site of an old ruined castle near the town of Chançay in the Loire River Valley. Now run by Bernard Herivault and his son Arnaud, the domaine was founded in Vouvray by Bernard’s grandfather Paul in 1947. The Herivault’s Chenin Blanc vines are grown in clay-limestone soils that are rich in flint (or silex). This imparts a snappy minerality that is an unmistakeable component of the wines of Domaine d’Orfeuilles. When I taste this sparkling beauty, I am blown away by the complexity for price! It has dusty aromas of minerals and fresh Granny Smith apples. Those components are present on the palate with the unmistakeable flinty mineral, and all continue harmoniously to a dry, crisp finish. And the bubbles make for an ethereal tasting experience. No wonder I see this wine on every TWH employee’s personal invoices. Ah, what a great memory; when my favorite football club won the European Champions’ League in 2012, I chose a magnum of the d’Orfeuille Vouvray Brut to celebrate with! In a fizzy mood? This is just what you need. An extraordinary bottle of fizz for an equally extraordinary price.

So there you go, I’m going to go ahead and grab a six-pack of the sparkling Vouvray for starters. I’ve got a big birthday (one with a zero) coming up, and though we are still 2 weeks away from the 3-week-long period known as “BirthdayFest”, it is looking more and more like this year, BirthdayFest has already begun. I’ve already received a Happy Birthday email from a friend overseas, and earlier this week, I was given something special to “open on your birthday” (Thank you, DR). So as the days approach, there will be plenty of reason to have something sparkling on hand, as there is much on the dance card. Let’s see, tomorrow morning football season kicks off with the annual Charity Shield match at Wembley! I am totally psyched to see the band Lucius both in LA and here in SF later this month. If you don’t know them, I highly recommend their 20 minute NPR Tiny Desk concert. It’s the best 20 minutes of music I’ve seen this year. Great dynamics, great harmonies. Meanwhile, the band I play in has 2 gigs coming up, and then there’s a visit to Old Trafford. Whew, this year’s Fest is going to be a doozy! Must have sparkling wine. Must have d’Orfeuilles Vouvray.
Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about affordable sparkling wines, English football, or music: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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Filed under Chenin Blanc, Vouvray

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