1996 Domaine Deletang Montlouis "Les Petits Boulay," Loire Valley, France (About $16)

Montlouis, one of the undiscovered jewels of the Loire, is a tiny appellation just across the river from Vouvray. Domaine Deletang is the star of Montlouis, making Chenin Blancs of expressive power. The 1996 "Les Petits Boulay" is a luscious pale gold wine, dripping with honey and tasting of white peaches. It's called a sec, or dry wine, but in the Loire Valley, "dry" is a relative term; everything depends on the vintage. This one is like a ripe fruit, both sweet and marvelously tart. Its crisp acidity also means this fabulous wine will age. In this weather, it's perfect with prosciutto and ripe melon. Watch for the 1997s from this producer, due to arrive some time in October.

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