Champalou 2003 Vouvray Sec ($15.99)
Very pale straw color with a greenish hue. White fruit aromas are enhanced by subtle notes of wildflowers and a distinct note of damp wool. Luscious, full, almost unctuous on the palate, forward mixed-fruit flavors evoke very ripe peaches, green figs, even a hint of banana; there's a distinct impression of sweetness on first tasting despite the wine's purported "sec" (dry) status. There's some acidity behind it all, drying it out a bit as the wine crosses the palate, but that rich, oily texture and residual sweetness create a soft, fat impression that's pleasant enough if you enjoy the California take on Chenin Blanc but that misses the style mark for Vouvray. US Importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (Apr 19, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Thai-accented "burgers" made from coarsely diced fresh tuna steak and scallops make an intriguing companion.



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