Cherrier Pere et Fils, Sancerre "Cuvée La Croix Poignant" Vieilles Vignes
Cherrier Pere et Fils, Sancerre "Cuvée La Croix Poignant" Vieilles Vignes

Cherrier Pere et Fils, Sancerre "Cuvée La Croix Poignant" Vieilles Vignes

Loire Valley, France 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$27.00

Cherrier Pere et Fils, Sancerre "Cuvée La Croix Poignant" Vieilles Vignes

Face it, you love Sancerre. So do we, so do the vast majority of wine drinkers. It just hits all the right notes for zesty, energetic, complex-yet-refreshing wine, and when done well it hits them all with aplomb. And because it is Sauvignon Blanc, with that little note of green (a.k.a. pyrazines), it offers aromatics and flavors that are truly distinct from any other white wine grape on the planet. It’s a perennial best seller, and as such the market price for wines from this hamlet in Eastern France have been on a fairly steep upward trajectory. That’s why we were floored to discover access to a classically built, old-vines knockout, that we could offer at a price that hasn’t been seen in years. Sancerre writ large may not be a discovery, but this beauty from Cherrier definitely is!

The Cherrier family has been producing in the village of Chadoux, in the Sancerre AOC, since the late 1800s. Today, the business is run by François and Jean-Marie, and they’re dedicated to showcasing terroir and tradition. “La Croix Poignant” is a selection of old vines from a single vineyard, sitting on top of terre blanche (Kimmeridgian) soil, which is a mix of marine sediment-laden limestone and clay, as well as silex, which adds a distinct flinty note. “La Croix Poignant” is a single-vineyard selection of old-vine fruit, and from the first sip, the wine’s pedigree is on dramatic display.

Given their special terroir, the Cherrier brothers are meticulous stewards of their vineyard, and employ a light touch in the cellar. All the grapes are handpicked and sorted, which is certainly not the case in much of Sancerre; farming is completely sustainable and increasingly trends towards fully organic. Fermentation is always done with indigenous yeasts (again, this is not the standard most of their neighbors use), and only in steel tanks. The wine is aged on the fine lees in the same tanks for 6-8 months before bottling. There is never any oak on the “Croix Poignant.” This cuvée is all about precision, minerality, and terroir-true transparency.

And boy, does that mineral-laden terroir shine through! In the glass, the straw-yellow core gives way to platinum and green at the rim, with aromas of white grapefruit, lime blossom, peach, white flowers, herbs, wet stones, and bits of oyster shell. It is a solid medium-plus on the palate, with a hint of saltiness that wouldn’t be out of place in a more “coastal” white wine, not to mention Chablis. It responds well to a quick 15-minute decanting, broadening on both the nose and palate as it comes up to about 48 to 50 degrees (my ideal temperature for a wine like this). Serve it in all-purpose whites next to lemony seafood, brightly dressed salads, or of course, some Crottin de Chavignol chèvre. It’s a Sancerre slam dunk, and a shockingly great value. Stock up for the rest of summer, the fall, and into 2024!

Cherrier Pere et Fils, Sancerre "Cuvée La Croix Poignant" Vieilles Vignes

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