Sancerre, the flagship of Loire wines
It is one of those wines whose reputation is well established, even abroad. A true benchmark, especially for whites, Sancerre seduces with its strength and elegance. Produced around the village that gave it its name, it is one of the jewels of Loire wines, alongside Reuilly, Quincy and Pouilly-Fumé. In a hilly landscape with many characteristic terroirs, this appellation expresses itself through a great diversity of wines, always fine and elegant.
General presentation of the appellation
This AOC wine is produced in the hills of the Sancerre region. All around Sancerre and 13 other communes in the Cher, some 2,900 hectares of vines produce wines in three colours: 75% white wines, 20% red wines and 5% rosé wines. Here, the king of grape varieties is the sauvignon blanc, which shares the limelight with the pinot noir.
In the heart of the Berry region, the Sancerre vineyards benefit from a favourable climate and soil. Not far from the Loire, on slopes that can be as steep as 50%, the vines have enjoyed a choice environment since ancient times. There are generally three very specific terroirs. The terres blanches, to the west, are the source of full-bodied wines, while the chailloux, to the east, give the wine that typical flinty aroma. The caillottes, stony and calcareous, offer fruity wines.
The white Sancerre is, in part, the reputation of the vineyards of the Centre-Val de Loire. The reds are just as qualitative, and the rosés, more confidential, need to be known. All express the virtues of the sauvignon blanc and pinot noir grapes.
Characteristics of Sancerre
The white Sancerre wines have a beautiful pale gold colour. Aromatically, they are distinguished by their minerality mixed with notes of white fruits and citrus fruits such as pear, grapefruit, lemon...
The red wines have a ruby colour, sometimes clear, sometimes intense. They give off aromas of red and black fruits (cherry, morello cherry, etc.).
Finally, the rosé wines of Sancerre reveal salmon tones that can tend towards grey. Red and white fruits mixed with notes of spices characterise their aromas most often.
How to enjoy a Sancerre
It is advisable to serve a white Sancerre at a temperature of between 9° and 11° and rather 12 to 14° for the greatest terroir wines. A rosé should be served at 7°. For a red Sancerre, prefer a temperature of 15° to 17° depending on the intrinsic quality and origin of the wine.
White wines are renowned for being a wonderful accompaniment to seafood, shellfish: oysters, scallops, etc. They also go well with main courses and desserts. They also go well with fish dishes. The reds are perfect with simple meat dishes. Finally, rosés are recommended to accompany a dessert or a salad. As for cheeses, we can only recommend tasting a Sancerre with the other gourmet appellation of the region, the crottin de Chavignol.