2018 Isabelle Garrault ‘Les Grands Monts’ Sancerre

$33

A complex bouquet displays lime, lemon zest, wet stone, flowers and a hint of smoky herbs. Stains the palate with zesty lemongrass and ripe pear flavors enlivened by vibrant acidity.

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Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc, a very recognizable white wine that is popularly dry, refreshingly zesty, and has strong, fruity and herbal characteristics. Ever hear of the term “pyrazines?” It’s a term noting the strong herbaceous flavors that are derived from compounds called Methoxypyrazines. These compounds are also found in bell peppers!

A flagship varietal to the Loire Valley in France (Sancerre) and New Zealand, the Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand tend to be more aromatic and have tropical fruit notes than those from the Bordeaux or Loire Valley regions in France. Usually fermented in stainless steel vats, Sauvignon Blanc gives a clean, crisp flavor with occasional mineral notes, but no characteristics from oak, like you would normally see in a grape varietal like Chardonnay. However, look out for Fumé Blanc, this style of wine is an oaked-version of Sauvignon Blanc.

Loire Valley, France

The Loire is actually the largest river in France and the Loire Valley is a large region that follows as it flows towards the Atlantic. Another cooler climate region in France, the Loire Valley produces many exciting and exceptional red, rosé, and white wines in a variety of styles. 

Lean and lively white varieties like Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne or Melon Blanc) dominate in many sub-regions here including Anjou-Saumur, Touraine, and the Upper Loire (Centre). Rustic reds like Cabernet Franc, Gamay, and Côt (Malbec) are also grown in smaller areas. Some of the most infamous for Cabernet Franc are that of Bourgueil and Chinon located in the Touraine (Middle Loire). The Loire Valley is also known to produce quality sparkling wines from grape varieties including Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc (for rosé). You’ll often find these wines to be tart with fresh fruit flavors and labelled as Crémant de Loire. 

The Garrault family has been growing grapes in Sancerre for over 10 generations. Based in the village of Verdigny, their vineyards are located on truly privileged terroir. The parcels are all found on high altitude sites (200m – 400m) and on steep slopes that allow the grapes to soak up the shy Loire Valley Sun.  The soils found here are the classic Terres Blanches and Caillotes that bestow laser intense minerality into the wines. The grapes are all hand-harvested and vinified in stainless tanks to preserve the full freshness and zippiness of the wines. Great Sancerre is getting harder to find, and it is families like the Garraults that continue to shun the influx of industry into Sancerre. They simply continue to make wine in the traditional way that reminds us why we fell in love with this hilly region to begin with.

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