vignoble lacheteauChenin Blanc is too often overlooked having gained a reputation as the base for cheap table wine in the U.S. But in France’s Loire Vouvray where it is the dominant, permitted white varietal it  can be scintillating. This one by the négociant house Lacheteau is as good as it gets for under $10. Buy a case. It’s a good candidate for ageing.

A pear and pineapple explosion lightly traced with wet stone, jasmine and hints of petrol on the nose. In the mouth, it’s delicately sweet up front, but finishes dry with a long, mineral conclusion laced with subtle, bitter,  grapefruit pith. Medium body with a pertly fleshy mid palate, incisive acidity gives this wine plenty of verve and intensity.

Off-dry but refreshing. Outstanding for the price.

Score: 89

Price: $7 at Trader Joe’s

Alc: 11.5%

It evokes the sweetness and intense longing of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita