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Chateau de Sancerre Blanc 2003

Sauvignon Blanc from Loire, France
    0% ABV
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    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The town of Sancerre has a long and eventful history. As far back as the 10th century AD the Count of Champagne chose this strategic position to build a fortified castle which would command the Loire Valley.

    Following the Wars of Religion, the castle was almost completely destroyed in 1621 and was not re-built until 1874. In 1919, the castle, along with part of the vineyards, was purchased by Louis Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle, who was instrumental in building the reputation of Sancerre wines.

    Still owned today by the Société des Produits Marnier-Lapostolle, producers of Grand Marnier, it is here that the exclusive, estate-bottled Sancerre wine is made and matured, the only wine which can be sold under the exclusive name: Château de Sancerre.

    The vineyards of Château de Sancerre cover approximately 64 acres with an annual production of between 150,000 and 200,00 bottles exclusively of white Sancerre wine from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Most of the vines, with an average age of 23 years, are located on the famed south-eastern slopes of the Sancerre Hills.

    The soil is composed of 80% limestone and clay-limestone, and 20% flint. The remarkable nature of the ground produces a structured full-bodied wine, which retains its body well and has the delightfully subtle bouquet and aromas which is characteristic only of a true Sauvignon Blanc.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Chateau de Sancerre

    Chateau de Sancerre

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    Chateau de Sancerre, Loire, France
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    The history of the Sancerre vineyards goes back almost a thousand years, for it was in 11th and 12th centuries that monks in the surrounding districts began to cultivate vines. From the reign of Philippe-Augustus to the reign of Louis XVI, the Kings of France delighted in Sancerre wine - "one of the most exquisite of the Kingdom", as one described it - and a 19th century devoté, Honoré de Balzac, famously paid tribute to the "generous wines" of Sancerre.

    The Chateau de Sancerre stands in the heart of the Sancerre vineyards. In 1874, the castle was rebuilt on its old site in the style of Louis XII. In 1919 it was purchased, along with part of the vineyards, by Louis Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle. It was he who restored the vaults and the spiral staircase which flanked the "Feudal Tower" - the only remaining vestige of the medieval castle. He also set up a private museum in Sancerre and was instrumental in building the reputation of Sancerre wines.

    Today The Château de Sancerre is still owned by the Société des Produits Marnier-Lapostolle, also producers of Grand Marnier liqueurs and owners of the Château de Bourg Charente. It is here, in the heart of its historic birthplace, that an exclusive estate-bottled Sancerre wine is made and matured - the only wine which can be sold under the exclusive name Château de Sancerre.

    Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.

    The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.

    The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).

    The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.

    Sauvignon Blanc

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    A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. However, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and here is most important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand, California, Australia and parts of northeastern Italy. Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon blanc.

    In the Glass

    From its homeland In Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, it expresses citrus, flint and smoky flavors, especially from in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, often reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California produces fruity and rich oak-aged versions as well as snappy and fresh, Sauvignon blancs, which never see any oak.

    Perfect Pairings

    The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor lends it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood and mild Asian cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like artichokes or asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

    Sommelier Secret

    Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

    BBI34495_2003 Item# 77490