2011 Edmond Vatan "Clos la Neore" Sancerre

SKU #1354784 94 points John Gilman

 I am so happy to see that the great work done here since 1959 by Edmond Vatan is being carried on in conjunction with his daughter Anne, as I have been a huge fan of these magical Sancerres since I first crossed paths with the brilliant 1988 vintage here. The 2011 Clos la Néore is another superb wine in the making, with a very classic aromatic and flavor profile and great potential for longevity (though perhaps not the steely spine of acidity of the 2010 here). The stunning nose offers up scents of lime, tart pear, a touch of almond, incipient notes of the lovely Vatan botanicals that will blossom with further bottle age, citrus peel and a lovely base of minerality. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and crisp, with a rock solid core of fruit, lovely focus and balance, bright acids and outstanding length and grip on the nascently complex and quite seamless finish. This will be a lovely vintage of Vatan Sancerre and will probably drink a bit sooner than the snappier 2010 version. One of France’s greatest white wines is spot on in this vintage! Drink between 2016-2035.  (6/2013)

92-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Bittersweet and musky floral perfume, mint, and eucalyptus surge from the glass of 2011 Sancerre Clos la Neore – as tasted from tank – and combine with gooseberry preserves, fresh apple, and honeydew melon on a lush, faintly oily, subtly sultry, yet persistently luscious palate. A hint of salted chicken and mushroom stock add a mysterious sense of (Kimmeridgian) place, while the hint of gooseberry and apple skin lends welcome invigoration to a long, saliva-liberating, and hauntingly musky, floral finish. This ought to be one of those rare 2011 Sancerres that will reward attention for more than a decade. (It’s intriguing, incidentally, how distinctive from one another are the two lots whose impromptu blend in my glass is the subject of the above tasting note, even though they began as the same juice.) (DS)  (6/2012)

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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.


- 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.


- 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.