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May 07

Chasing the Butterfly

Kevin met Edouard Vaury at the Cincinnati Wine Festival a few weeks back. Edouard, of OWS in Miami, represents Chamarré and was kind enough to provide a pair of bottles for review. In honor of the great weather lately, we started with the Chamarré Sélection Dual Varietal Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. The wine is not yet available in our area, so we’re not entirely sure of the price point, but we know it is intended to be an affordable wine. We cover both the marketing and the wine in this post, but you’ll have to follow the jump to read the whole thing.

The Marketing
Chamarré (pronounced sha-ma-ray) is a fantastic example of French wine using creative marketing and trying, if a little belatedly, to compete with the cute-label-critter wines of the world. It’s a great look at how one group of vintners is trying to combat the Yellow Tail Effect. The vintners represent every major winemaking area in France. Their grapes are drawn together by Renaud Rosari, winemaker for  Chamarré.

Chamarré is targeted for the wine drinker who wants an inexpensive but quality wine – from France. Their logo and labels all effectively use a butterfly.  I recently learned that all logos should have a deeper meaning. I suspect the butterfly is a representative of the changing world of French wines and rising up, full of color, to take on the challengers. That’s just a creative guess though. Don’t quote me on it. Chamarré means bursting with color, bursting with flavor, in French.

Their web site
is interactive and friendly, with good descriptions of each wine.
Edouard sent us cards with tasting notes on one side and food pairing
tips, complete with recipes, on the other. I think that is simply
brilliant. After all, people are always wondering what food to pair
with the wine they just bought. These cards are also available in the Downloads
section of the Chamarré web site. Recommended pairings (and recipes)
for our Sauvignon Blanc-Chenin Blanc? Coconut shrimp and tortellini

I find everything about Chamarré to be inviting and friendly,
whether it’s the label, the web site or the tasting notes. I think
they’re taking some great, and brave, steps in making French wine
available, and less intimidating, to the masses. I could probably write
a lot more on the various hooks this company is using and what they’re
up against. I think it’s pretty cool. Who knows – it might pop up on my
professional blog sometime this month …

– Michelle

The Wine
Chamarré Sélections are dual varietals. We tasted the Sauvignon Blanc-Chenin Blanc. In our ongoing search for a
summer white I was glad to be able to add this into the mix.

As I continue to learn about wines, I am starting to appreciate the
finer points of a well constructed blend. As blends go,
this is a very nice example of how the juice from two types of grapes
can be combined into a very pleasurable experience.

The Sauvignon Blanc lends a fresh crispness to the wine and the
usual lime citrus flavor. Chenin is an interesting grape with which I
am less familiar. We had one a few weeks ago with Peter
Koff as an example of biodynamic terroir; here we get the grape
blended, showing flowers and tropical fruits. Michelle thought the wine
smelled and tasted like daisies.

One test we put all our whites through is the "second day test."
This dual
varietal held up after a day in the refrigerator. The citrus
characteristics were a little more subdued, but it still contained a
lot of the pleasant qualities from day 1.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable wine that receives our happiest
rating. If you can find this in your area and are comfortable with the
price, I would encourage you to give the new views of French wine a try.

Our rating:

– Kevin

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Posted by Michelle at 1:53 pm in Food and Wine Pairings, Marketing, Tastings | Permalink | Comments ()

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