Eric Morgat, 2016 Update
You can divide up Savennières in a myriad different ways. There are the generalists, where Savennières is just one part of their portfolio alongside Anjou Blanc, Coteaux du Layon and so on, and you have the specialists, who focus exclusively (or almost exclusively) on the one appellation. You have the indigenous vignerons, resident on the north side of the river for countless generations, and the outsiders, who have come in from the south only during the last two decades, attracted by the appellation’s growing reputation. You have the traditionalists, turning out austere old-school wines, fermented in old oak or cement, and alongside them we also have the modernists, who polish off their wine’s harder edges with oak and maybe even a little malolactic fermentation.
Savennières, you see, can be complicated. Allow me to simplify it for you. From a purely drinker’s point of view (a view, as you are reading this, we surely share) the most important distinction is the last of the three, as this determines how the wine tastes more than who lives where, or how many wines someone makes. When I first explored Savennières in any detail, grasping who was a modernist and who was a traditionalist was fundamental in developing an understanding of the appellation and what seemed like, at the time, its many different styles. But appellations such as Savennières do not stand still, and styles are shifting. Domaines need to be revisited.Please log in to continue reading: