Remy Pannier Sancerre 2017
Rémy Pannier has been identified with premium quality Loire Valley wines since 1885, when it was founded by François Rémy, who developed it into a prosperous local négoçiant concern, buying, blending, bottling and selling Loire Valley wines. François was succeeded by his son, Louis, whose wife, Marie Pannier, provided the second part of the company’s name. Louis, in turn, was succeeded by his son Maurice, an engaging, adventurous man who is credited with generating a widespread following for Rémy Pannier wines in France and the development of new markets abroad. Maurice’s heirs retained a stake in the company until selling it in early 2002.
Rémy Pannier’s headquarters are located at St.-Hilaire-St.-Florent near Saumur on the banks of the Thouet, a tributary of the Loire. Facilities include eight miles of underground cellars carved out from the chalk hills, an ideal environment for storing wine. Lead winemaker Karine Huibant, assisted by four full-time laboratory staff, oversees winemaking.
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.