£20.50/£18.50, Lea & Sandeman
Savennières from a favoured vintage and good producer is an absolute treasure – dry and mineral, yet honeyed, especially after a couple of years' age, and always carried by pivotal acidity. The appellation is just west of Angers on schist hills on the north bank of the Loire and 2016 was a year in which frost wreaked havoc, but for the vineyards that were spared it closed on a high with a sunny, warm late summer. The result is intensity of flavour, silky texture, laser-precise acidity (although lower than in some vintages) and signature Loire Chenin Blanc notes of apricot, sweet apple, hay and minerals. It's a riveting aperitif, but the combination of rich fruit and good acidity makes it a match for creamy fish dishes such as fish pie, shellfish such as scallops with, say, lardons or a purée of sweetcorn or petit pois, roast pork belly, including with apple, and with Beaufort, Comté and similar firm, mountain cheeses. It could also handle some trickier dishes – see my blog on Chenin Blanc for further ideas.
Château Pierre Bise-Clos de la Coulaine Savennières 2016, Loire France
£20.50 by the single bottle, £18.50 in a mixed case, Lea & Sandeman; £18.80, Vinvm