Monday’s Centre-Loire tasting included a fine display of confidence – a vertical of ten wines dating back to 1996. Confidence well placed as it turned out.
Following up on Wednesday’s Centre-Loire blog focused on Sauvignon and silex, below are my highlights from the vertical.
And for a bang up-to-date take on the 2011 vintage in Centre-Loire, click here for Jim Budd’s recent missive from Sancerre.
Joseph Mellot Châtellennie Sancerre 2005
In a very attractive place now, with bright, zesty citrus notes and blackcurrant bud still but the creamy weight and richness of bottle age going through. Well balanced and languid. Would be perfect with a bit of beurre blanc sauced turbot. 12.5%
Domaine Fouassier Les Chailloux Sancerre 2003
A weighty, peachy Sauvignon as one would expect from this hot vintage, but it’s not without freshness. Yellow and white peach aplenty; just misses the length of a cooler year. Good. 12.5%
Pierre Prieur et Fils Sancerre 2002
A terrific vintage, with great fruit/acid balance, beautifully reflected in this wine. It’s got lovely life and length, with youthful blackcurrant bud and grassy notes and a subtle touch of marzipan, which lends complexity and weight. A piquant finish puts me in mind of fresh horse radish. Very good. 13%
Domaine du Carrou Sancerre 2001
Much more forward with its weightier, rounder, stone fruited palate. A lick of dried herbs too. Good mouthfeel, the acidity nicely integrated. Just a little short. Enjoy it now. 12.5%
Domaine Bailly-Reverdy Sancerre 2000 (magnum)
Delicious complexity, length and life to this Sauvignon. It shows blackcurrant bud, fresh herbs, creamier white asparagus with an attractive cheesy, leesy tang and stony minerality. Finishes, long, very balanced, clean and fresh. Just lovely. 13%
André Dezat et Fils Sancerre 1998
Complex, mineral and well focused with dried herbs and a sandy texture which sounds bad, but it wasn’t – part of the wine’s sensuality. 12.5%
Jean-Max Roger Sancerre Cuvée C.D 1997
A rich and satisfying but superbly balanced Sauvignon from this ripe year. Sweet peapod, honey, asparagus and peaches build on the palate; a riff of herbs strikes a pretty, lifted note – a clue to its caillottes soils. Long, complex but still elegant. Very good. 12.5%
Domaine Henri Bourgeois La Bourgeoise Sancerre 1996
From aged vines on flinty soils, this oak aged Sauvignon is full-bodied with great breadth and depth of flavour, texture too – plenty of oomph! There’s oak spice and fruit spice (fenugreek) to its rich white asparagus palate. Long, spicy and stony, it’s a very distinguished modern Sauvignon with fantastic palate presence.