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Sancerre the home of Sauvignon Blanc

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ne of the wines I came to love early in life is Sancerre. It is a wine with an acidic edge but the modern versions have such an harmony that can be difficult to beat it. Back in the late 90’s and early years of 2000, if a resto in Montreal did not have a Sancerre by the.glass, you would have a riot. So much was the popularity.

apple edge. • Chalk, which gives the wine a floral, grapefruitBy Marco Giovanetti like characteristic and • Limestone and clay, mtltimes.ca which yields quality, rich, Since then, Sancerre has and herbal wines (like been eclipsed by various fresh thyme or tarragon) New World expressions. that brings to mind drinkCalifornia still produces ing from a waterfall. Despite the delicate variations of Fume Blanc, a name invented by Mon- style from each small davi. But with the advent vineyard area or town, all of Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre has similarities: New Zealand the labelling high strung acidity and a has become marginally taste of minerals or rocks more honest. Still, none of or waterfalls like no other these recent new world Sauvignon Blanc in the interpretations demon- world. Sauvignon Blanc strate the greatness of from New Zealand has Sauvignon Blanc that high acidity, but unlike could be achieved in those ripe, fruity wines, Sancerre is barely fruity. Sancerre. First the location. Although there will be Sancerre is located in the variation in each Sancerre center of France, on the you try, you’re going to very eastern point of the find these characters in Loire Valley. The Sancerre them all — it’s the style of area has a climate similar the place. like Champagne or Chablis in northern Burgundy — continental, with warm summers and cold winters, where the threat of frost (hence total vineyard extermination) is imminent through the spring and fall. Then there is terroir of the 15 villages I recently had a chance that make up the area of Sancerre which is particu- to taste some of the larly unique in that the wines of Alphonse Mellot soil is heterogeneous, so in Sancerre. For those the wine flavors are new to Mellot, this proslightly different. For ex- ducer makes some of the best Sauvignons Blanc in ample there is: • Flint, which allows wines the world. La Moussière, to taste like eating on where the domain's most gravel rocks, which gives classical wines are made, the wines a lemony, green is one of the most re-

markable and best vineyards in France. It is a beautiful, south facing, rolling slope, with deep, limestone-rich, ploughed soils. Here, everything is done by hand, biodynamically and to pristine standards.Alphonse Mellot was, and is, one of the beacons of quality in a region where today, some 98% of fruit is machine harvested. Tasting notes as follow - La Moussière 2015 is a very fresh, bright, with a classically chalky perfume of the best Sancerres.A simply lovely palate, very fresh and bright, with harmonious substance but also a very bright a direct acid backbone. - Le Manoir 2015 ( SAQ # 12690686. $28.05) is a 1.6 hectare vineyard on a transition to biodynamic and organic viticulture The terroir consist mostly of argyle and silex, with an average age of 30 years. Only 7,500 bottles are made. Very citrusy on the nose with with white flower nuances and wet rocks. Austere and very structured. Lots of tension. A sancerre for the long haul. - Les Romains 2014 (SAQ #13302702 $59.25) is sourced from vines dated back in 1951 on partly limestone and silex soils. Aromas that bring to mind lemon buttermilk. On the mouth,. Light, yet rich, creamy flavors accentuated by lemongrass. Some gray quartz and

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with ripe dark red berries flavors and a tight finale that suggest some tannins presence. Excellent gastronomical rose for the table. Pair it charcoal bbq salmon fillet. Jérôme Mathon Brouilly Vieilles Vignes 2015 SAQ # 10387270 $21.25

lemon zest, and a sharp finale. The Rhone strikes backs! It has been almost a month since my return

A brave yet gracious Sancerre, prefer the current than the previous

from the Rhone, and I cannot get it off from my mind. I recently tasted the red wines of Guy Mousset, which also makes the rose Caladoc which I talked about it last week. Olivier and Franck Mousset produce great Chateauneuf du Pape and high quality Cotes du Rhone. - Guy Mousset Cotes du Rhone 2014 ( Private Import, Charton Hobbs, $22.40). Mostly Grenache (80%) with a bit of Syrah (20%). Jammy black fruit and garrigue flavors. Very mineral .Full body. Round, dense with silky tannins. - Les Garrigues Côtes du Rhône Villages 2014 ( Private Import, Charton Hobbs, $31.25) is a majority blend of Grenache (70%) and Syrah (30%). Very soulful wine. Cacao, animal notes, old leather, complex dark fruit notes. Balanced, meaty in the mouth with firm tannins. A wine with a similar terroir than Châteauneuf-du Pape but half the price. Make it your BBQ wine for this summer. - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition. ( Private Import, Charton Hobbs, $57.25). A multi blend of Grenache (40%), Syrah (30%) and Mourvedre (30%). Lots of animal notes and dark chocolate.cacao. A blast of indian spices with roasted red and black currants. Powerful, yet every bit balanced. Needs some time to integrate its tannic structure. La Moussière Sancerre 2016 SAQ # 00033480 $28.85

Powerful aromas of blackberries, with a strong mineral claw ( dust vintage. Pure with a per- quartz, granit ).Very floral fect elegance, it seduces with nuances of violets, you with its enticing floral, peonies, church incense. menthol and anise flavors. Peppery with a sensual Racy with a tense finale. red berry trace line. Full Perfect with fried seafood body, structured with a dishes such as shrimp firm and muscular tannic composition. Mean, bitterRavines Chardonnay ish finale in a good way. Finger Lakes 2014 Keep for a few years. SeSAQ # 13120036 rious enough to pair with $28.50 a prime rib steak or with a humble chicken and ham pizza. Cline Zinfandel Big Break 2014 SAQ # 12484111 $29.50

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Buttery pear nectar with ginger extract. Freshly grated nutmeg with almond extract.After a while, a flinty character appears On the mouth, round and richly textured. Good aromatics in the wine reminding me of indian butter, smoke and a hint of orange blossom water. Elegant finale. Good with butter or korma chicken. Gabriel Meffre Tavel Saint Ferreol 2016 SAQ # 13204820 $21.95 Stunning bouquet of wild red cherries, strawberry. Fragrant thyme and oregano. Round and enveloping with a medium plus acidity. Serious enough to be a red wine

Fragrant aromas of raspberry jam with licorice and dark chocolate notes. On the mouth, ultra smooth in the palate with satiny tannins. Flavors bring to mind kirsch, mesquite and licorice with an eucalyptus finale. Pair it with grilled flank steak. Marco Giovanetti is an ItalianVenezuelan sommelier student in the ITHQ of Montreal, Quebec. He has 15 years of experience tasting wine from Europe and emerging wine regions. His key specialties are the wines of Tuscany, Italy and the wines of Spain. He enjoys fine wines, gastronomy, film and literature. You may contact him at: info@mtltimes.ca

May 20, 2017 •

Montreal Times 20 68 May 20 2017  

The Montreal Times is published twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday and is distributed all over the Island of Montreal and surroundin...

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