As much as we love Vouvray, we are willing to admit that it is a not the easiest genre to understand. It is important to define one’s terms because the label doesn’t always dial it in for you. Dessert Vouvray is usually labeled molleux, but beyond that it gets a little fuzzy. You will see the word ‘trie’ on a label. But with Huet that is a later harvest, with multiple passes through the vineyard, and typically something on the dessert end of the spectrum. Yet Baumard also makes a wine with ‘trie’ on the label. Same multiple passes through the vineyard, and it’s killer, too, but it is bone dry.
It’s the same when there aren’t words. Some of the bottlings will say ‘demi sec’ or ‘tendre’ which indicates there’s a hint of residual sugar which we find an essential with Chenin Blanc. Many labels simply say Vouvray, which doesn’t necessarily tell you what the style of the wine is. It could be anywhere from bone dry to that demi-sec profile, which is kind of the tradition in this area. Some of them can be downright sweet. Life on the edge.
All of that being said, Saget is an old friend around here. We have sold several vintages, and a whole lot of some of them. The style of the house is definitely what could be described as ‘enlightened’ demi-sec that sits on the less sweet end of this very specific category. We are huge fans of Chenin Blanc, the grape, but firmly believe that a touch of sweetness goes a long way in helping the varietal settle into a nice groove. Chenin at its best has driving acidity and, like Riesling, a little sweetness helps temper the angry edges this varietal can have. For most of its history as we know it, Saget lives in that ‘crowd pleaser’ area stylistically and they do one heck of a job at it.
The Saget La Perriere Vouvray Marie de Beauregard 2015 is once again an engaging mouthful, with bright fruit components of peach and citrus, with honeyed notes to the finish and a snappy cut of acidity that keeps everything quivering. For its style, it is way too easy to quaff and it has pulled 91 or more from Wine Spectator in five of the last seven vintages as well as three ‘Smart Buy’ comments (under Saget La Perriere and previously under the label Guy Saget). Not bad for something that sells for under $15 but it is hard not to like this.
Not surprising, the Saget La Perriere Vouvray Marie de Beauregard 2015 was again awarded 92 points by Wine Spectator and a ‘Smart Buy’ tout with comments, “ Juicy and ripe, with inviting pear, quince and fig flavors laced with light ginger and honeysuckle notes. Shows a flash of hazelnut through the finish. On the hedonistic side, but has the freshness for balance.“ It’s one of those sneaky little finds that ‘keeps on giving.’