Champalou 1999 Vouvray ($11.99)
ChampalouIn a white-wine world where Chardonnay seems utterly dominant with Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps, in distant second place, it's an occasional pleasure to remember what a delight some of the less aggressively marketed varieties can be. This Vouvray, a Chenin Blanc from France's Loire Valley, is an excellent example. A very pale brass color, it offers fresh, light honeydew melon aromas and a crisp flavor with just a hint of fresh-fruit sweetness well balanced by lemony acidity. Delicious now, but unlike more fragile whites, will improve and gain complexity with a little cellar time. U.S. importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (Oct. 29, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Perfect with a simple, light autumn dinner of fettuccine tossed with butter and finely chopped fresh sage.
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