Laporte Sancerre Le Rochoy 2017
A well-known winegrower from Chavignol, Henri Bourgeois purchased the domaine from René, keeping the old vineyard, cellar and house – and maintaining the excellent reputation. Now under the watchful eyes of Henri’s two grandsons, Arnaud and Cedric Bourgeois, Domaine Laporte is one of the most highly respected estates in the Loire Valley. It holds more than 74 acres, and the flagship Sancerre comes from one of the finest vineyards in the appellation, Domaine du Rochoy, a 25-acre monopole vineyard carved out of the flint hillside overlooking the Loire River. Typically one of the first sites picked in the appellation, Rochoy offers grapes with wonderful ripeness and incredible mineral expression from Silex soils, the rarest terroir in Sancerre.
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.