From: Sancerre, Loire Valley, France
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Taste: On the nose, it is intensely aromatic, offering vibrant notes of gooseberry, passionfruit, and green apple, alongside delicate floral hints of elderflower and orange blossom. The wine's minerality is evident with an underlying aroma of wet stones and a touch of flint. On the palate, this Sancerre Blanc is crisp and refreshing, with a taut, energetic structure. Those lifted, exotic fruit flavors from the nose are complemented by citrus notes of lemon and grapefruit, as well as subtle herbal undertones of freshly cut grass and mint. The limestone-driven minerality contributes to the wine's steely dry character. The wine's texture is refined and elegant, with a long, lingering finish that leaves a satisfying impression of juicy white fruit and mineral freshness.
Pairing: This cheerful and sun-shine ready Sancerre is a versatile wine that can be paired with a wide range of dishes. Its crisp acidity and refreshing character make it an excellent choice for light appetizers such as fresh salads, ceviche, or oysters. The wine's minerality and herbal notes will also complement seafood dishes, including grilled shrimp, seared scallops, grilled trout, or poached white fish. Its citrus flavors and subtle smokiness will be a great match for dishes featuring lemon or herb-marinated poultry.
For a traditional Loire Valley pairing, try this Sancerre Blanc alongside a plate of Crottin de Chavignol, a local goat cheese that highlights the wine's mineral and citrus qualities. Another regional option is a classic French dish such as Sole Meunière, a buttery fish dish with a lemon and caper sauce that will accentuate the wine's acidity and fresh fruit flavors.
The 2021 Domaine Denizot Sancerre Blanc is also a fantastic companion for vegetarian dishes. Pair it with a warm goat cheese (served over a garlic-brushed baguette) and zucchini salad with arugula, zucchini blossoms with burrata and tapenade, or Zucchini and Squash Blossom Soufflés (check out the recipe below), or a creamy asparagus risotto/polenta dish. Its bright acidity and herbaceous notes will also make it a great match for a Mediterranean-style pasta with lemon, olives, capers, and artichokes.
Zucchini and Squash Blossom Soufflés
By David Tanis
About. In the heart of France's Loire Valley lies a lesser-known winery producing exceptional wines with a rich history and a promising future. Domaine Denizot, run by the passionate husband and wife team of Thibauld and Jennifer Denizot, has been crafting elegant and nuanced wines for six generations (or eight? We’ve seen both accounts online, but their website states six generations, so we’ll go with that). While this family-run estate may not yet be a household name, its 2021 Sancerre is undoubtedly a wine that will capture the attention of connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.
Introducing the 2021 Domaine Denizot Sancerre Blanc. The Denizot's 2021 Sancerre Blanc showcases the unique terroir of the Loire Valley, with its blend of grapes sourced from the villages of Amigny, Chavignol, Sancerre, and Verdigny. Grown on the region's iconic caillottes soils (limestone-rich clay, Sancerre’s Oxfordian limestone soils), the Sauvignon Blanc grapes used in this cuvée offer a delicate and elegant profile.
The 2021 Sancerre Blanc is intensely aromatic, with concentrated gooseberry fruit flavors and a rich smokiness that is perfectly balanced by a steely dry palate. Its mineral and elegant finish is a testament to the Denizot's mastery of blending and their dedication to organic farming practices.
Craftsmanship and Respect for Nature. The Denizots are committed to working with nature and embracing organic practices in both their vineyards and cellar. With minimal intervention, they allow the natural flavors of the grapes to shine, resulting in wines that are fresh, crisp, and beautifully balanced. The estate's 20.5 hectares are divided between the prestigious appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, with 75% dedicated to Sauvignon Blanc and 25% to Pinot Noir.
The Art of Blending: Domaine Denizot's Signature Style. Blending is the hidden art of Sancerre, and Thibauld Denizot's skill in crafting the perfect balance between different terroirs sets Domaine Denizot apart. The limestone notes from the caillottes soils bring a mineral and frank framework to the wines, while the fruity notes from the Terres Blanches (Kimmeridgian marl) add structure and complexity.
The Denizots also produce a stunning Sancerre Rouge that pays tribute to the region's lesser-known winemaking history. As Thibauld puts it, "There is not only one Sancerre, but thousands," inviting wine lovers to explore the diverse expressions of this captivating region.
The Future of Domaine Denizot. As Thibauld and Jennifer Denizot continue to raise the bar with each vintage, Domaine Denizot's reputation is set to soar. Their commitment to quality, respect for nature, and passion for winemaking make this hidden gem a must-try for anyone seeking to discover the true essence of Sancerre.
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