From: Sancerre, Loire Valley, France
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Taste: A stunning example of Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre. Subtle floral and citrus aromas lead, but there is plenty of fruit here. Lemon, lime, and grapefruit/grapefruit zest, green apple and a hint of white pepper meet ripe, juicy acidity meet with chalky and salty minerals on the palate, indicative of terroir, on the palate.
Pairing: Go fresh with classic pairings like goat cheese, seafood, green vegetables and salads. Ceviche, fish carpaccio, crab cakes, shrimp scampi all work wonderfully well alongside a wine like this. Salads that incorporate or feature cucumber, green beans, zucchini, fennel, and shaved asparagus with fresh goat’s cheese will be the talk of the evening next to this Sancerre. Japanese cuisine in particular fares fantastically next to Sancerre, and with that inspiration in mind, we’re sharing a recipe for “fried cakes of sushi-style rice topped with chipotle mayonnaise and raw scallop, then painted with a thin glaze of a soy-honey mixture” by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, below.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Fried Sushi Cakes
By Mark Bittman
About. Based in the prestigious town of Bué, known for its Kimmeridgean terres blanches soils, Domaine Vincent Pinard continues a 20-generation tradition of winemaking in Sancerre. The current domaine, founded in 1996, is now helmed by Florent and Clémente, taking over from their father, Vincent. The winery is more innovative than ever before, while still maintaining the natural winemaking practices that have been followed for hundreds of years.
Florent and Clément are laser-focused on creating wines with a sense of place, specializing on site-specific cuvées that are different expressions of this special terroir. Incorporating the use of new and used oak (an unusual form of elévage for Sauvignon Blanc), the Pinards are creating wines that have weight and depth, a far cry from the straightforward Sancerres produced by so many others.
Their holdings are among the best in the region, including land in the famed Clos du Chêne Marchand, La Pelerine, Plantes de Prie, and others. When you taste these whites, don't think about drinking Sauvignon Blanc, a grape variety that is known for exuberant tropical and herbal notes when grown elsewhere. Instead, remember that you're drinking a northern white wine, grown on very similar soil and in close proximity to Chablis. These wines are elegant, nuanced, full of personality but not bombastic. Their Pinot Noir is grown on clay-limestone soil with a limestone subsoil. With old vines and low yields, these reds are powerful but balanced and have the capacity for a long life in the cellar.
The Pinards have been passing down winemaking techniques for generations, with the goal of always creating the most precise, pure, and fine wines possible. While many wineries are reverting to these natural winemaking practices, the Pinards have been implementing these methods for hundreds of years on their 17 hectares. They do everything as naturally as possible; intervene as little as feasible, limit yields, harvest by hand, and do not use herbicides, insecticides or anti-rot treatments. They believe that if the fruit is healthy, there is no need to use artificial products during the vinification process. And as to the top vignerons of Burgundy, should they visit Sancerre, there is one essential domaine that they visit...Vincent Pinard!
Fruit for Florès is selected from their younger vines (but now pushing 40 years old!) around Bué, all estate owned. The key vineyards are Emois, Vallons, Petit Chemarin, Le Bourg, Crépon, Dargente and Bois Brulés.
The Sancerre Cuvée Florès is Domaine Vincent Pinard's flagship calling card. Sourced from vines grown on stony, chalky soils in and around Bué, green harvested, hand picked, fermented using native selected yeasts and then vinified in oak vats and stainless steel. This is a paragon of fine Sancerre, a model of purity, intensity and balance.
The grapes are selected during the harvest and once they arrive in the cellar. After the pressing of the whole bunch, the vinification takes place in steel, to end with ageing on the yeasts.
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