The objective of my recent cycle trip in France was to get to Tours, specifically the tomb of St Martin. Strange but true. Fortunately medieval pilgrimage routes do tend to pass through rather nice wine country.
The whole region around Tours contains plenty of good Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Vouvray, but it’s a big region, and there’s plenty of vineyards in the flat fertile flood plains of the Loire. These regions produce great sweetcorn, peaches and melons but perhaps not the greatest wines.
I picked up a cheap and cheerful Touraine for under £5 this week. It was clear and bright, and very pale. It had a light fruity aroma with hints of asparagus and some fruit. It was dry and crisply acidic, with a fairly light body. The fruit was a little more gooseberry-like on the palate, but nothing special. It finished quickly.
I drank a few glasses of very similar wine in the region – it came free with lunch, which was nice, rather like a chocolate mint or an interesting amuse bouche.
I suspect the Premiere Sauvignon de Touraine from Sainsbury’s comes from easy cycling areas, free from steep climbs and protected from the strength of the sun. There’s better Sauvignon Blanc around at this price, I’d opt for something from Chile if I was confined by budget, but for a couple of quid extra New Zealand and Pouilly offers a lot more for your Sauvignon Blanc pound.