Domaine Fouassier L'Etourneau Sancerre Rouge 2012
This wine complements red meat, game and cheeses at the end of the meal.
The new century started with the arrival of the tenth generation with Benoit in 2000 (Jean-Michel's son) and Paul in 2001 (Pierre' son) who brought a new way of operating and a new culture of the vineyard.
The domaine's vines are cultivated so as to develop every terroir and to highlight their qualities. It is a matter of observing and understanding of the plant, of its needs, its stress or its sturdiness to overcome. The soil enrichments are chosen according to the plot. They are 100% organic and are certified usable in biological agriculture. No chemical fertilizer is used on their property. The freerun yields are controlled by the pruning, a harsh disbudding or green harvests, if the load of grapes does not correspond to the quality targeted.
The specificity of the vineyards is such that they vinify all these plots separately since the 80's. In Sancerre, Fouassier was the pioneer of these winemaking methods. They respect the soil of each vine that endows different qualities using the same winemaking techniques. Each terroir has its own typicity, and in each wine from the same soil, you find slight differences due to the site of the vines, their exposition, their age. All the cuvees are appealing thanks to the majestic character of their subtle flavors.
Marked by its charming hilltop village in the easternmost territory of the Loire, Sancerre is famous for its racy, vivacious, citrus-dominant Sauvignon blanc. Its enormous popularity in 1970s French bistros led to its success as the go-to restaurant white around the globe in the 1980s.
While the region claims a continental climate, noted for short, hot summers and long, cold winters, variations in topography—rolling hills and steep slopes from about 600 to 1,300 feet in elevation—with great soil variations, contribute the variations in character in Sancerre Sauvignon blancs.
In the western part of the appellation, clay and limestone soils with Kimmeridgean marne, especially in Chavignol, produce powerful wines. Moving closer to the actual town of Sancerre, soils are gravel and limestone, producing especially delicate wines. Flint (silex) soils close to the village produce particularly perfumed and age-worthy wines.
About ten percent of the wines claiming the Sancerre appellation name are fresh and light red wines made from Pinot noir and to a lesser extent, rosés. While not typically exported in large amounts, they are well-made and attract a loyal French following.