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Domaine Vacheron Sancerre 2010

Sauvignon Blanc from Loire, France
    12.5% ABV
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    12.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    A vibrant, 100% organic/biodynamic Sauvignon Blanc from a mix of flint and chalk soils in the heart of Sancerre. Aromas suggest grapefruit zest and gunflint; in the mouth the wine is pure and fresh, with plenty of mineral energy and citrus flavors. Indispensable with fresh oysters or young goat cheese. The Vacheron family is one of the older and certainly most respected producers of organic wines in the Loire Valley.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaine Vacheron

    Domaine Vacheron

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    Domaine Vacheron, 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.

    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.

    NBIVACHSAN_2010 Item# 109317