The appéllation of Saint-Pourçain - in the central Allier département of France - is as geographically close to Burgundy or the Rhône but gets attributed to the Loire due to the rivers Sioule and Allier which in turn link it to the Loire just to the west of Nevers. Well, it had to be classified somewhere and its light, fruity and reasonably-priced vinous offerings do seem to fit quite well within the context of the Loire valley. Wine has been produced here since the Middle Ages and today production is dominated by the progressive 'Union des Vignerons' co-opérative, which is an excellent source of red, white and rosé.
Their white 'Cuvée Printanière' is made from a blend of Chardonnay and Trésallier that is bottled in the spring to conserve its youthful fruit. With uplifting wild flower and citrus aromas and a zesty stone fruit palate offset by fresh acidity, it makes a versatile apéritif or partner to salads or seafood. A sibling rosé 'Chinière' is made from pure Gamay and has an attractive coral pink colour, inviting summer berry scents and crisp raspberry and redcurrant flavours that are ideal for outdoor imbibing. Completing the range is the popular red 'La Ficelle', a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir sold as a 'Vin de Soif' in a bottle humorously illustrated by a different cartoonist each vintage. Redolent of ripe red fruit with supple tannins and a fresh finish, it is best served lightly-chilled and makes an excellent accompaniment to charcuterie, wild mushrooms or bavette-frites.