Le Roi des Pierres Sancerre Rose 2018
Le Roi des Pierres, meaning "King of Stones," pays homage both to the Loire Valley's decorated royal past and its unique terroir, particularly silex’s designation as “the king of all stones.” Sancerre's wines, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, represent a sense of place, reflecting the land and the history, easily transporting one to the hilltops of this spectacular appellation.
The Loire Valley is the historical heart of France, renowned for its beautiful countryside, breathtaking chateaux and legendary wine. From the 10th century onwards, kings and queens have called it their home, promoting intellectual and cultural advancements. Over the years the wines of Sancerre were considered to be the finest in the entire kingdom. There are three soil types found in Sancerre, terres blanches, which are clay and limestone soils rich in shellfish fossils, caillottes, pebbly limestone soils, and finally silex. Each soil type plays a significant role in the character of a wine's flavor.
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.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color depends on grape variety and winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta.