Varietal: Pinot Noir
Taste: The 2020 Sancerre Rouge is a dance of sensations, presenting a delightful viscosity and hue. It teases the palate with tangy dark berries and the quintessential flinty minerality of the region. The nose is treated to wafts of raspberry, oak, and the nostalgic aroma of the forest floor. It's a wine of contrasts – dry yet bursting with flavor, light in acidity with a long-lasting finish.
Pairing: This Sancerre Rouge's versatility shines when paired with various dishes. Whether it's American fried chicken, grilled meats, or a tender pork cut, furthermore, its adaptability extends to white meat and fish, making it an ideal companion during the main course of any meal.
Scallion Cornmeal Waffles
By Nicole Taylor
About. Established in the core of Sancerre in 1749, Domaine Fouassier stands as one of the oldest wine-growing families in the Loire Valley and as a symbol of dedication to the art of vinification, seamlessly spanning several generations.
The terrain that has witnessed the growth and vinification of the illustrious Sauvignon Blanc is managed today by the 10th generation Fouassiers, Jean-Michel and Paul. A venture that started over a century ago, with vines deeply rooted in the diverse soils of Sancerre, from chalky limestone to clay with flint, the Fouassier family's expertise now shines through every bottle they produce. Their profound knowledge about how best to grow and vinify their grapes has been pivotal in expressing the unique mineral essence of each plot.
Their narrative also pays homage to Jules Fouassier, who played a significant role during the Phylloxera epidemic in the late 19th century. Jules was not only the pioneer in using copper and sulfur to counteract vine diseases but also masterminded the planting of the renowned Clos Paradis vineyard in 1902. The ripple effect of the family's prowess was further magnified when Gustave, Jules' eldest son, showcased the potential of Sancerre wines by clinching a victory in a Parisian wine competition in 1923.
Transitioning into the 21st century, Benoit and Paul, representing the 10th generation, merged tradition with modernity. Their dedication to the terroir was amplified by transitioning to organic and biodynamic farming, earning accolades and certifications from ECOCERT and BIODYVIN. One such organic marvel emerging from Domaine Fouassier is the eminent Francois le Saint, the most significant landholder in Sancerre.
Jean-Michel and Paul's quest for perfection found that organic and biodynamic farming and minimal intervention in the winemaking process best exemplified their terroir's distinct essence. The resulting wines, aged on lees for a year and bottled with minimal sulfur, are a testament to the Fouassier family's unwavering commitment to Sancerre.
Spread over nearly 56 hectares, the estate is a living testament to the dual wonders of Sauvignon Blanc (80%) and Pinot Noir (20%), solidifying its reputation as the largest landholder in the appellation. Nestled between elevations of 150-300 meters above sea level, the vines thrive, basking in southeastern exposures and drawing nourishment from a rich tapestry of soils. These varied terrains, dotted with limestone, Kimmeridgian marl, flint, and compacted chalk, infuse the wines with the iconic minerality Sancerre is renowned for.
The dedication to quality is evident in the meticulous pruning throughout the year, ensuring a bounty of the finest fruit. Harvesting is timed to perfection, capturing the essence of each grape between mid-September and early October.
While state-of-the-art machinery is featured throughout their winemaking journey, the Fouassiers hold their traditions close. Employing a pneumatic press, the grapes are tenderly pressed, and the free-run juice, oozing with potential, finds its way to stainless steel tanks, all thanks to gravity. Here, the magic of fermentation unfolds, led solely by natural yeasts from the vineyard.
For the 2020 Sancerre Rouge, derived from vines entrenched in clay and chalk-based soils, the fruit underwent careful hand-harvesting, complete destemming, and fermentation with native yeasts. A stint in old casks preludes bottling, revealing a Pinot Noir with unparalleled elegance and luscious fruitiness.
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