Langlois Chateau Sancerre 2020
Langlois-Chateau’s Sancerres are serious and complex but also delicate and approachable. They’re benchmarks for the appellation. The grapes are from a selection of the best vineyard plots. They undergo a gentle pressing to extract the purest juice and are handled exclusively in stainless steel.
Langlois-Chateau has a rich history as one of the leading producers in the Loire Valley. Their Cremants are produced with standards far beyond the appellation requirements and even beyond Champagne AOC standards. The result is Méthode Champenoise wines of incredible finesse. The still Sancerres are equally notable and are benchmarks for the appellation, with brightness, intensity, depth and minerality.
Founded in 1885 by Edouard Langlois and Jeanne Chateau (hence the name). In 1973, the Bollinger family invested in Langlois, significantly revitalizing the vineyards and modernizing the cellar. Bollinger was naturally attracted by Langlois’ Crémant de Loire production, but the estate has become a leading quality producer in Sancerre, Saumur and other areas.
Langlois-Chateau owns and manages 175 acres of the best AOC vineyards in the Loire Valley. For the Crémants they have an intensely terroir-focused approach of drawing the best characteristics from 6 distinct vineyards areas and soil types in order to create and refined wines. Grapes are hand harvested in small bins, pressed gently, aging is at least 36 months (versus 12 month minimum), and reserve wines are incorporated. The crown jewel of their Sancerre holdings at Chateau de Fontain-Audon, from which they produce a single-vineyards Sancerre of the same name.
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.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a 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 (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.