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Isabelle Garrault Sancerre Les Grands Monts Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
    0% ABV
    • WS91
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    Winemaker Notes

    A pure-fruited, elegantly racy and electric Sancerre.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Isabelle Garrault

    Isabelle Garrault

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    Isabelle Garrault, Sancerre, Loire, France
    The Garrault family has been growing grapes in Sancerre for over 10 generations. Based in the village of Verdigny, their vineyards are located on truly privileged terroir. The parcels are all found on high altitude sites (200m – 400m) and on steep slopes that allow the grapes to soak up the shy Loire Valley Sun. The soils found here are the classic Terres Blanches and Caillotes that bestow laser intense minerality into the wines. The grapes are all hand-harvested and vinified in stainless tanks to preserve the full freshness and zippiness of the wines. Great Sancerre is getting harder to find, and it is families like the Garraults that continue to shun the influx of industry into Sancerre. They simply continue to make wine in the traditional way that reminds us why we fell in love with this hilly region to begin with.

    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.

    SKRFIG005_2016 Item# 350464