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Domaine Du Margalleau, Sparkling Chenin Blanc

Loire Valley, France 2009 (750mL)
Regular price$20.00
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Domaine Du Margalleau, Sparkling Chenin Blanc

For $20 a bottle, there is no other sparkling wine that I have ever tasted that could compare in quality and complexity. Domaine Du Margalleau’s 2009 Vouvray Brut is a perfect example of how well Chenin Blanc can express itself as a sparkling wine. Made using méthode champenoise, this French sparkler is top of class at this price point, and the 2009 vintage was a perfect year for sparkling production—high acid combined with perfect sugar levels.

Domaine Du Margalleau is located in the village of Chancay in the Vouvray appellation, on the north side of the Loire River. Since 1938, four generations of one family have run the estate. Today, brothers Jean-Michel and Bruno are in charge. Their Vouvray vineyards are planted in tuffeau—a calcareous rock of soft limestone that produces phenomenal minerality in the wines—with a south-facing exposure. For the 2009 Vouvray Brut, the brothers ferment the grapes as if they were going to make a dry Chenin Blanc, then use the méthode champenoise to create a truly remarkable sparkling wine. 

The 2009 Vouvray Brut from Domaine Du Margalleau has a high saturation of yellow and gold at its core, moving to gold and green reflections on the rim. A myriad of lovely aromas fills the senses—honey and cream, ripe yellow apple, concentrated chamomile tea, honeysuckle, white peach, croissant, preserved apricots, candied lemon and a hint of oyster shells hover above the glass. The palate shows just a kiss of sugar, enveloped in a creamy, opulent body. This sparkler is dry but full, boasting notes similar to the nose with dried yellow apple, lemon peel, beeswax, wet wool and finely crushed stones. Beautiful acidity and intense minerality make this sparkler a real standout in the great 2009 vintage. I suggest chilling this bottle in the refrigerator very cold, then serving in large Burgundy stems, but ideally wait five to ten minutes before enjoying, because it will come to life as the temperature rises and the CO2 dissipates a bit. Though it is truly enjoyable on its own, this sparkling wine would be a real match for any rich and complex main course. This Lemon Roasted Chicken recipe will be the perfect pairing to this rich sparkler.
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Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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