What grape varieties does the Cave de Saumur use?
The Cave de Saumur makes wine out of two main grape varieties, chenin and cabernet franc:
Chenin originated from Anjou has been used since the IXth century; selection from chenin noir. In the following centuries, chenin was introduced to Touraine where it got its present name.
Chenin gives white wine, Saumur White or in certain years a sweet syrupy white wine, Côteau de Saumur. It is also used in the production of sparkling wines, Sparkling Saumur and Crémant de Loire.
Cabernet franc has been planted on approximately 45,000 hectares around the world, 36,000 hectares in France. Aquitaine has the most, followed by the Loire Valley. This grape variety can be distinguished by its fine spicy aromas and its ability to age. Depending on the terroirs, connoisseurs can identify aromas of raspberries or violets.
At the Cave de Saumur oenologists vinify the cabernet franc into wine:
- Light, fruity red is the "Réserve des Vignerons" winegrowers' reserve, Saumur rouge and Saumur Champigny; but also silkier wines, richer and more complex in aromas. These are selections from specific localities.
- Dry, appetizing Rosé, voluptuous Rosé de Loire, Cabernet de Saumur, and demi-sec Cabernet d'Anjou.
"Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée" identifies a product, its authenticity, type and geographical origin. It guarantese their qualities, characteristics, original terroir and the producers' expertise.
AOC vineyards of Saumur extend over 10,000 hectares between Anjou and Touraine.
History: Saumur was the capital of the Huguenots under Henry IV and from the XIIth century it was an important place for wine negotiation because of ideal topographical conditions.
Soils: The vineyards are scattered over islands and tufa stone (chalk) ridges which give the wine both floral and mineral flavours.
Climate: Temperate ocean climate but the hills protect the Saumur region from the westerly winds, so the plots the furthest away from the Lorie are under a continental influence.
The AOC of Saumur comes in three colours, still wines as well as sparkling.
Saumur Blanc AOC
Grape variety: Chenin. Fruity with aromas of citrus fruit and peach, pear or melon, Saumur white wine is a dry and nervous wine and is best served chilled.
Coteaux de Saumur AOC
Grape variety: Chenin. A sweet wine produced from over ripened grapes, blending delicate flavours of dried apricots, quince jelly, honey and grilled almonds. A wine to enjoy over time as it improves with age.
Saumur rouge AOC
Grape variety: Cabernet franc. Luminous ruby red colour. The tufa stone gives it its finesse and lightness. Nose of red fruits and flowers (iris, violet). Supple in the mouth, at times very dense with fine tannins. Fresh and balanced finish.
Saumur Champigny AOC
Grape variety: Cabernet franc. A restricted area of production for an appellation of great acclaim. It is distinguished by its colour, varying from intense ruby to garnet, denoting round harmonious flavours of ripe red fruit and blackcurrant.
Cabernet de Saumur AOC
Grape variety: Cabernet franc. Gourmet wines par excellence, delicate, round and mellow with a liveliness balancing a light sensation of sweetness with a fresh finish.
Cabernet d’Anjou AOC
Grape variety: Cabernet franc. Cabernet d’Anjou is an appetizing demi-sec, rich in aromas of small red fruit.
Rosé de Loire AOC
Grape variety: Cabernet franc. The Rosé de Loire has a raspberry colour, evoking fruity flavours, acid drops and with plenty of lightness. It’s a thirst quenching wine for appreciating with light meals or summer gatherings.
Saumur Mousseux AOC Méthode traditionnelle
Grape variety: Chenin and chardonnay. The Saumur has fine bubbles which improve in the freshness and humidity of the limestone/chalk cellars for at least nine months. Developed from the method of the famous monk, Dom Pérignon, the winegrowers of Saumur have completely mastered the finesse and explosion* of their bubbles.
Crémant de Loire AOC Méthode traditionnelle
Grape variety: Cabernet franc, chenin and chardonnay. The young wines are fruity with citrus flavours. The diverse aromas can vary from floral and white fruit (peach and pear), to toast or brioche. Particular to the Cave de Saumur, the fine bubbles come from laying the bottles down in the cellar from one to three years.
Mousseux rouge Méthode traditionnelle
Grape variety: Cabernet franc. Red sparkling wine is a speciality of Saumur. Fine bubbles and nose of red fruit. Perfect with strawberry tart or white chocolate mousse.