In today’s Loire-crazed wine geek set, Sancerre has fallen by the wayside. To be sure, the Sancerre most drinkers encounter is insipid, unbalanced, machine-harvested, chemically grown rubbish. This impression is wrong.
Sancerre The Good
Today, Sancerre’s best domaines have embraced biodynamic farming, and proper, sensitive winemaking. Domaine Vacheron, for instance, has farmed biodynamically since the early 2000s (certified in 2005) and ferments with indigenous yeasts in steel and open-top oak fermenters. Moreover, today’s best domaines are honing in on single-vineyard plots that deserve separate bottlings. While sometimes I wonder if the ‘single-vineyard’ obsession has become more a trend than an objective pursuit of quality, the very best domaines dedicated to bottling by parcel do seem to achieve greater results with this approach rather than blending. Vacheron is a leader in this regard, making about a half-dozen single-vineyard whites and half as many reds – all of which are distinct and the best of which are profound.
2015 is an atypical vintage for Sancerre – drought conditions made viticulture difficult. The best growers achieved ripeness with sufficient acidity for wines of great depth and concentration. Vacheron did a superb job with their basic Sancerre 2015 – a wine of ripe aromas and textures without pyrazines and still sufficient bite to clean the palate of any number of asian foods, particularly Japanese foods and milder pork dishes. The Vacherons’ basic Sancerre is made with 30-50 year old vines grown on the fault line of the silex and chalk soils, such that the fruit of which it is made is grown in both terroirs. This creates excellent roundness and completeness. A wine for early and mid-term drinking.
$43 + tax at BCLDB