Quincy was the first French white wine appellation to be given AOC status in 1936. Latterly, however, it is nearby Sancerre that has grabbed the limelight. Jean Tatin, described by Decanter in 2009 as a 'pioneer' of the region, has helped put Quincy back on the map with his crystalline and classic Sauvignon Blanc. Jean and his wife Chantal have 20 hectares in Quincy, planted mainly on the freshwater Kimmeridgian limestone that gives the pure, mineral character to the Ballandors Sauvignon Blanc.
The grapes for Quincy are grown in four parcels of vines situated in the heart of the Quincy Appellation, on the left bank of the river Cher. 30% of the wine is from old vines and 60% from 20 year old vines and the remaining 10% from younger vines. Each of the parcels has a slightly different soil: 'Chaumoux' is sand over a chalky, flint and limestone base to give the characteristic minerality of this region, whereas 'Les Victoires', 'Le Pressoir' and 'Les Ballandors' are a mix of sand and clay.
Each plot is kept separate to identify the wines by their terroir. The grapes underwent low pressure pneumatic pressing and temperature controlled fermentation. The wine was aged on fine lees with bâtonnage.
Bright pale yellow in colour with lively citrus and herbs on the nose and a touch of exotic stone fruit. The palate is refreshing, with fine acidity supporting excellent lemon intensity. The finish is long and lingering with gentle mineral notes alongside the round fruit flavours.
The 2015 vintage (no longer available) was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2016 edition review of Sancerre 2015 (see blue link below).
Domaine des Brosses was established in 1875 and lies 10 kilometres south of the town of Sancerre. The Girard family modernised the winery and vineyards when they bought the estate in 1973. Nicolas Girard has now taken over his father's 11 hectare estate and together with his brother Anthony, is making wines that are fresh, modern and aromatic. Both the brothers have travelled extensively throughout the wine world and have used the knowledge and experience acquired to underpin the style of their classic Sancerre.
The Girard family have six different parcels of Sancerre vineyards. Their hillside vineyards are located on classic clay and chalk soils, giving the grippy, mineral style expected of true Sancerre. Domaine des Brosses has used a machine harvester to collect the grapes since 1989. This is so that the Sauvignon Blanc is brought to the winery in the coolness of night-time, thus retaining the classic citrus and gooseberry aromas and flavours of Sancerre.
Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to avoid oxidation. No oak was used, but the wine remained on its fine lees for several months to add weight to the palate and round the finish.
Bright and pale golden. A fresh, citrus palate with herbaceous notes of hay and nettle. Richly textured but with crisp acidity and textbook minerality. The finish is elegant with the typical purity and refreshment of excellent Sancerre.
Light, lemon-yellow with a fresh, lively perfume of citrus and green apple with hints of sherbet on the nose. On the palate it has great balance with plenty of fresh fruit providing good weight and a zesty acidity giving it a lift. A lively, mineral note gives the finish complexity.
This wine is the colour of yellow gold or straw-coloured with gently glowing silvery. To the nose, its aromas suggest broom, white roses, acacia, honeysuckle, fern, verbena, lemon-grass, and citrus fruits (grapefruit, mandarin oranges). In the mouth, the finish adds nuances of pine, quince and fennel. This wine is fresh and luscious as well as dry and well-fruited. It has good concentration backed by sufficient acidity to ensure its keeping quality. It is full and smooth in character.
In December of 1978 Philippe Laurent and Michèle Aubéry-Laurent bought a barn and 12 hectares of old vines in Montbrison. Their first harvest took place in 1979 with their first cuvee being the Ceps Centenaires. As time has passed they have extended their vineyards as well as buying new plots of land and they now have 25 hectares of land under vine. The vineyard is now certified as organic.
This wine was hand picked and has undergone both an alcoholic and malolactic fermentation before spending 6 months in oak.
An acclaimed producer whose exhibit the complexity of the terroir of Chavignol, being chalky with a touch of gunflint then opening on the palate with a broad array of flavours and wonderful length. The grapes for this wine are harvested from the Monts Damnes, slopes so steep that they are called cursed. A graceful and flavourful wine that will age and age. It has classic Loire characteristics of blackcurrant leaf, yellow plum and lemon with mineral and floral notes on the palate.
Daniel Dampt is one of Burgundy’s most celebrated winemarkers, and he produces wines under both his own name and that of Jean Defaix, his father-in-law. This Defaix Chablis is clean, ultra-pure with bright steely acidity and not so much as a sniff of oak. This makes it pair perfectly with fish dishes such as sea bass or oysters and it is a superb, classic wine to use as an aperitif. The Chardonnay grapes were hand-selected and bottled on the estate, ensuring that only the best fruit was used to produce the wine, making it a perfect example of the distinctive taste and freshness of Chablis. It’s never cheap, Chablis, but this is both excellent quality and value.
Bright citrus fruits and great mineral freshness. The nose is crisp and bright with bags of lemon and stone fruits, the palate follows suit with real precision and lift. Fresh and mouth-filling.