Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre Blanc
Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre Blanc

Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre Blanc

Loire Valley, France 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$47.00

Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre Blanc

Sancerre is almost certainly familiar to all our Daily Discovery readers, and Domaine Vacheron is likely to ring a bell, too, since we’ve been preaching the gospel for years that these hard-working, terroir savants deserve their spot among the very top handful of estates in this famous commune in Eastern France. Their single-vineyard bottlings—both white and red—are sublime, but their calling card is their pitch-perfect, village-level Sancerre. This masterful blend of the three distinct geologies in this appellation is truly a next-level wine when compared with even its most famous peers. But, what are we doing with a Sancerre offer in late November? The answer is twofold: A wine on this level is perfect whenever you open it (and by the way this is prime oyster season), and we don’t get to choose when some is available since it has become very limited. So grab as much as you can: It’s perfect for holiday celebrations, but you’ll want some on hand when spring and summer come along too!

Domaine Vacheron, as most of you know, is a first-ballot SommSelect Hall-of-Famer. When cousins Jean-Laurent and Jean-Dominique Vacheron took the helm of this family estate, their parents had already expanded a tiny property into a highly regarded Sancerre address. So J-L and J-D set about making it into a globally recognized destination for fine wine. They converted all their vineyards to biodynamic farming (certified since 2005) and began adding small parcels from some of the best sites in the region. Their philosophy is most easily described as “Burgundian,” with a focus on understanding and identifying all the subtle differences that can be found in the geology of their vineyards and then transferring those distinctions of terroir into their wines. 

This focus on terroir is not surprising given that Jean-Laurent spent his formative years working and learning with Aubert de Villaine at the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Not a bad way to gain insight into coaxing the maximum potential from acclaimed parcels of vines! And that is exactly what he and his cousin have accomplished over the past couple of decades. However, there is one major difference between Domaine Vacheron and Romanée-Conti: Vacheron produces an excellent village level blend to act as an introduction to the glories that they can coax out of Sauvignon Blanc. Oh, and there’s one other departure between these two icons: Vacheron’s wines are still an amazing value.

The flagship AOC Sancerre from Jean-Laurent and Jean-Dominique is a blend of the three famous terroirs of the appellation: silex (flint), caillottes (pure, stony limestone), and terres blanches (clay-limestone marl). The cousins are master blenders, using their pristine, hand-harvested, biodynamic fruit to produce the penultimate village Sancerre. Terres blanches brings texture and fruit, caillottes supplies saline minerality and excellent length, and silex brings the laser-like cut and classic notes of crushed rock. Serve cool, not overly chilled, in an all-purpose or Burgundy stem and the pale golden hue will have hints of green at the rim. On the nose you’ll immediately get gooseberries, grapefruit pith, green apple, white peach pit, lemon-lime zest, chervil, crushed stones and oyster shells. The palate is high in acid, medium body along with incredible levels of freshness and minerality, with flavors similar to the nose and focus of citrus, wet herbs and tell-tale crushed white rocks. This wine is delightful to consume now, but it will develop more complex nuances as it ages, so I highly recommend grabbing at least a case so you can enjoy it in every season and over the next five to seven years. Serve with a tower of chilled shellfish and fresh oysters for a perfect holiday party starter. Cheers!

Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre Blanc

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