The transition from winter to spring brings about my favorite seasonal change in wine. Sure, the autumn to winter descent into big, burly reds has its allure, but what I get really excited about is the onset of dry French rosés and bright, crisp whites. I’m eating lighter this time of year, more vegetables and seafood, and these are the wines that pair so well with this cuisine. When it comes to these types of whites, nothing comes to my head faster than Sancerre.
The Loire Valley is home to some amazing white wines. Muscadet, Vouvray, Savennières, Pouilly-Fumé, and, of course, Sancerre. The Sauvignon Blancs from the Sancerre appellation tend to the minerally, lean, crisp side of things. These are not your grapefruity, sometimes hint of sweetness SBs hailing from New Zealand. They are bone dry and razor sharp. THIS is what I want this time of year. Something to pair with my goat cheese salad or seared scallops and to refresh as the thermometer climbs.
Well, it’s time to act! Though it’s hard to believe given the weather today, it’s supposed to be close to 80 degrees on Saturday and we just received a couple of beautiful Sancerres to welcome the warmth..
The two wines are from Domaine Gérard Fiou. Gérard had a long-standing friendship with the Bourgeois family (of the famous Sancerre winery, Henri Bourgeois) and years ago they partnered to create exceptional, small production Sancerres under the Fiou label. In fact, the current winemaker at Gérard Fiou is the grandson of Henri Bourgeois, Florent Bourgeois.
One of the things that sets the Fiou domaine apart, is the location. The vineyards that they own contain a high percentage of Silex (or flint). Only about 15% of the Sancerre appellation has these special soils. This terroir, coupled with old vines (an average of 60 years old), gives the wines a unique and intense mineral character that is distinct to Sancerre.
With the two current releases, Florent has hit it out of the park.
The 2015 Gérard Fiou Sancerre is a beautiful wine and just what one would hope to find in a wine from this region. Racy, minerally, with vivid citrus fruit. You can almost taste the vineyard in this wine. “Wine Spectator” loved it, giving it 92 points. Here’s the review…
“A piercing, bone-dry style, with chalk and flint notes driving through the core of gooseberry and thyme. Mouthwatering and lengthy, showing crystal-clear purity on the finish. A rapier.”
The listed price in “WS” is $27. Right now we have it for $17.99, $16.19 with 6 bottles or more!!
In certain vintages, when the quality is extraordinary, Florent makes a wine that he calls “Le Grand Roc.” In 2014, he made this wine.
The 2014 Gérard Fiou Sancerre Terroir de Silex Le Grand Roc is an otherworldly Sancerre. It takes all of the best attributes in the above Sancerre and cranks it up a notch, showcasing more complexity and a bit more weight (it’s aged on the lees longer, thus the current release is a vintage older). Again, “Wine Spectator” loved it, putting a 93 point rating on it. Oh, by the way, this is the highest rating that “WS” gave to any of the close to 100 2014 vintage Sancerres that they rated. Here’s the review…
“Tightly coiled, with a chalky thread racing along, featuring lemon pith, straw and white asparagus notes. The finish glistens with fleur de sel and flint details, leaving a very precise feel.”
The listed price in “WS” is $40. Right now we have it for $24.99, $22.49 with 6 bottles or more!! That’s almost half the price of the listed retail on it!!!
Both of these are in stock now. Just in time for the warm weather.