Columnist, Food

★★★Exceptional  ★★Excellent ★Very Good

Prices are approximate. Check to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Here are some Vouvrays that show the chenin blanc grape at its best.

Jean Claude et Christophe Pichot, Domaine Coteau de la Biche Vouvray



Loire Valley, France, $17

The 2009 is a stellar chenin blanc, with stone fruit and exotic tropical fruit flavors. The 2010 is less effusive right now but should continue to develop over the next year.

Vineyard Brands/Bacchus: Available in the District at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Circle Wine & Liquor, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill. Available in Maryland at Bin 604 Wine Sellers, Roland Park Wines & Liquors and Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore; Midway Discount Liquors in Joppa; Nick’s of Calvert in Prince Frederick; State Line Liquors in Elkton.

Christophe Thorigny Vouvray Sec 2010


Loire Valley, France, $16

This dry (sec) Vouvray displays great focus with firm acidity guiding the abundant tree fruit flavors (peach, apricot) across the palate.

Wine Traditions: Available in the District at Cork Market and D’Vines; on the list at Adour, Cashion’s Eat Place, Komi. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, River City Cellars in Richmond, Tastings in Charlottesville, Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview; on the list at Bastille in Alexandria, Mediterranee in Great Falls.

Marc Bredif Vouvray 2009


Loire Valley, France, $24

More substantial than most wines from Vouvray, this carries more weight and intensity. Definitely a wine to pair with richer foods.

Republic National: Available in the District at S&S Liquors, Safeway in Georgetown, Trader Joe’s; on the list at Chef Geoff’s.

Domaine du Clos de l’Epinay Vouvray Demi-Sec 2009

★★1 / 2

Loire Valley, France $16

Demi-sec designates some residual sweetness in the wine, but don’t think of this as sweet. The sugar is deftly balanced by the fruit and graced with a subtle mineral quality. This wine could stand alone before a meal, but I’d recommend it with mildly spiced Asian foods or composed salads.

Dionysus: Available in the District at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, and Whole Foods Markets P Street, Tenleytown and Foggy Bottom; on the list at Bombay Club and Brasserie Beck. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bradley Food & Beverage and Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda; in Gaithersburg; Frederick Wine House; Rodman’s in Wheaton and White Flint. On the list at Raku in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s in McLean and Alexandria; Wine Cabinet in Reston; Whole Foods Markets in Alexandria, Arlington, Fair Lakes and Charlottesville.

Charles Bove Vouvray 2010


Loire Valley, France $16

This wine will benefit from a few more months in the bottle to help the flavors integrate, but there is appealing apricot and peach, with a tart beginning and a touch of sweetness on the finish.

Vintage 59/Country Vintner: Available in the District at Morris Miller Wine & Liquor and Rodman’s; on the list at Hank’s Oyster Bar. Available in Maryland at Georgetown Square Beer & Wine in Bethesda, I.M. Wine in Fulton, Roots Market in Olney; on the list at Founding Farmers in Potomac.

Jean Dumont Vouvray 2010


Loire Valley, France, $13

Although not labeled “sec,” this is one of the drier Vouvrays I have tasted, and it adds an appealing citrusy note of orange peel to the usual orchard in a glass.

J.W. Sieg: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits; on the list at Bistrot Lepic, Busboys & Poets Fifth Street NW, PS 7’s, Sax, Vidalia, Westend Bistro. Available in Virginia at Unwined in Alexandria, Vienna Vintner.