100% Pinot Noir
- This would happen to actually be only the 3rd Rose Sancerre I’ve ever tasted.
Rose Sancerre isn’t made in huge quantities, but when you do find it, it’s always made from Pinot Noir.
Personally I’ve always found Sancerre to produce some of the most reliable wines coming out of France. At least one wine from the region should be a staple on every wine list.
- Domaine Christian Salmon have been growing grapes in Sancerre for 6 generations. They only grow Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc on their property, as these are the only two grapes permitted according to French law.
- Every style of wine imaginable is produced in the Loire: red, white, rose, sweet, and sparkling. The region is 2nd only to the Champagne region in terms of French sparkling wine production.
- If New Zealand is to thank anyone for the success of their Sauvignon Blanc, it would be the Sancerre region of France. Fair-play to the Kiwi’s I say!
It’s the same-old problem with French wines, in that most labels are written…….well…..in French!
Unless you have an infinite understanding of French wine regions, and the wines they produce, chances are you’re going to have a hard time understanding French wines in general. New Zealand saw the problem a long time ago, and suitably provided a solution with well-made, affordable wines, with cool-and-sexy (and more importantly: UNDERSTANDABLE) labels.
- For more info on their Loire, click here for LoireValleyWine.com
- As is the story with most French wine regions, the history of winemaking in Sancerre dates back a gazillion years! Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, it’s only a 1000 years, but I think you get the idea.
- Sancerre is located at the far Eastern end of the Loire Valley, just across the river from Pouilly-Fumé. Both regions specialize in Sauvignon Blanc, with Sancerre producing about double the volume of Pouilly-Fumé.
- Sancerre is produced in 15 villages throughout the region, with the best wines coming from Bué and Chavignol. Domaine Christian Salmon is located in Bué.
- It used to be that Pinot Noir was the most widely planted grape in Sancerre; however, since phylloxera (a vineyard pest) wiped out most of the vines in France in the middle-to-late 1800’s, Sauvignon Blanc was planted to take its place. It doesn’t help that Pinot Noir is a complete b*tch to grow! Pinot is now believed to only make up around 20% of wine production.
- Frost can be a huge problem for vineyards in Sancerre, sometimes almost ruining an entire harvest. Luckily, since most vineyards are located on the banks of the Loire river, the vines benefit from its warming influence, and survive the harsh winters.
- The Loire River is the longest in all of France.
Cranberry juice, subtle raspberry and strawberry lead the way, with wet stone, mineral and tangerine following behind. No oak. Subtle, reasonably elegant, refreshing, and with just enough acidity to keep it interesting. Don’t be afraid to take it out of the fridge 10-15 minutes before you serve, to let some of that fruit come through. 13% alc.
Salmon is a given, but also think about goat cheese, citrus salad, light curries, trout, charcuterie, and shrimp. A perfect poolside wine….which isn’t much use to you in February, but it’s something to bear in mind for the warmer months…