2016 Domaine Vacheron "Le Paradis" Sancerre

SKU #1354053

From North Berkeley Imports: "The Vacherons are without question Sancerre’s leading winemaking clan. From the family’s pioneering work in identifying and exploiting the region’s top terroirs to their leading position in biodynamic viticulture today, there are few if any artisans in Sancerre as exacting or as respected. Great-grandfather Maurice Vacheron tended a few vines back when Sancerre was but a stop on a village road. His son, Jean, was the first of the family to specialize in producing wine, paying particular attention to the influence of terroir on Sauvignon Blanc. Jean’s sons, Denis and Jean-Louis, solidified the Vacheron name in Sancerre, showcasing the family’s talent with not only Sauvignon Blanc but also Pinot Noir. Today, Denis’ son, Jean-Laurent, and Jean-Louis’ son, Jean-Dominique, have taken the estate to a whole new level of quality, championing biodynamic viticulture and selecting singular vineyard parcels that the family has observed for generations (and planted with their own hands) to bottle as single-vineyard wines, with the goal of showcasing the heights that Sancerre can reach. For more than two decades we’ve brought these world-class wines to the United States, and it has been exhilarating to watch the family’s vine-growing and winemaking expertise deepen with each vintage. To wit, the family has always made fine Sancerre; yet the current generation has pushed the estate to a level of quality that transcends appellation."

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Price: $49.99
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Varietal:

Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Loire

- Of all of the French wine producing regions, the Loire might produces the greatest variety of wines. They range from still to sparkling, very dry and acidic to hearty sweet, and clear in color to a deep purple. The diversity of wine produced in this region is due in part to its dynamic climate, which ranges from Continental to Mediterranean. This region is best known for Sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc and Cabernet Franc. The most famous areas in the Loire Valley may be Sancerre and Vouvray.
Organic: