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Domaine Vacheron Les Chambrates Sancerre 2013

Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
  • RP94
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Reserve bottling of Sauvignon Blanc from single vineyard. Aged in large wooden and stainless steel tanks. Vines are south facing on Kimmeridgian limestone. Age of vines: 20 years old.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Vacheron's 2013 Sancerre Chambrates comes from a plateau above the "Le Paradis" lieu-dit and is cultivated on limestone and red clay soils. Fermented and aged for 12 months in large French oak vats, this citrus-yellow Sancerre is even more intense and Riesling-like on the nose than the Le Pavé (the Vacheron cousins may forgive my comparison with Riesling ,since their Sancerres are certainly Sancerres and no Rieslings). With ripe and concentrated lemon and grapefruit flavors perfectly interwoven with melting stones flavors and stewed stone fruits on the nose, this is a full-bodied, rich and very complex yet also pure, refreshing and finesse-full Sancerre; it has an enormously long and fruit intense, almost lush yet elegant finish with lemon flavors. There is a first maturity here that gives this Chambrates its elegance and noble complexity. An impressive Sancerre indeed.
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Domaine Vacheron

Domaine Vacheron

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Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre, Loire, France
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The Vacheron vineyards are all close to the village of Sancerre itself and have been in the family for 9 generations. Today, this domaine is run by two cousins, the Messieurs Vacheron. Both have sons studying viticulture to carry on the family tradition. The vineyards cover 34 hectares with two principal soil types; "silex" and "caillotte" or chalk.

Organic viticulture has been a goal of the family for a number of years; as of 2003, the entire estate was certified organic. The following year the winery was converted completely to biodynamic agriculture--to be sure, you won't find more terroir-driven Sancerre anywhere else in the appellation. Jean-Dominique and Jean-Laurent Vacheron are ably leading the domaine to ever-loftier winemaking heights. The wines speak for themselves—always consistent, the quality of Vacheron Sancerre continues to astound.

Sancerre

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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.

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.

IPOPI_JH3836_2013 Item# 167858