Matthias et Emile Roblin Origine Sancerre 2019
This typical Sancerre wine is fruity, straight, vivid and mineral. It is lovely as an aperitif as well as being the ideal match for seafood, fish, and goat cheese, particularly the Crottin de Chavignol.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Limpid orange-pink. Vibrant, mineral-accented red berry, orange zest and floral scents show sharp definition and pick up a subtle herbal nuance with air. Sappy and focused on the palate, offering lively strawberry and bitter orange pith flavors and a sweetening touch of honey. Finishes long and precise, with firm mineral cut and repeating florality.
The magazine went on to select Matthias’ 2003 Sancerre as the best white table wine to come out of the Loire in 2005 (World Wine Awards, October, 2005). Given the torrid heat of that endless summer, one in which making a fresh wine was all but impossible, this was quite the honor. Decanter then profiled Matthias in its September 2006 issue, naming him among five new faces to watch in the Sancerre appellation.
In 2006 his younger brother, Emile, joined him, and now these two work alongside their father (he's in the middle of the photograph on this page; Matthias is on the right with glasses; Emile is on the left), who, with their uncle, used to manage the production at Chateau de Maimbray until 2010 when those two brothers retired.
Matthias and Emile’s vines grow on the hillsides of Maimbray and Sury-en-Vaux in the northern sector of Sancerre. This zone is known for its terres blanches or Kimmeridgian Marls—white soils made of clay and marl and stones on top of Kimmeridgian limestone, and make for pointed, powerful wines that need a couple of years in bottle to show best (and indeed have the potential to age surprisingly well, but almost never are permitted to do so). The brothers have 14 hectares (35 acres) in Sauvignon Blanc and 2.5 (6 acres) in Pinot Noir.
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.