2021 Cherrier Frères Sancerre Blanc ‘Les Renarderies’
It’s Sancerre – need we say more? Sancerre is the king of all Sauvignon Blanc. It’s consistent, classic and never disappoints. Cherrier Frères Sancerre delivers exactly what you want: a lively, zesty, crisp and delicious white wine.
Organic farming practices, and native yeast fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
Situated in Verdigny, brothers François and Jean-Marie Cherrier have been sustainably farming vines in the Loire Valley since 1994. The duo cultivates fruit across 20 hectares of vines spread over five villages surrounding Sancerre, as well as an additional ten hectares in the area of Menetou-Salon. They use ecological techniques such as planting cover crops, practicing gray-water reuse at the winery and eliminating chemical fertilizers and vinification products. The varied climates and soil types of these regions each bring a distinct Sauvignon Blanc characteristic to the final wines, ranging from flintiness (from silex) to acidity (from gravelly limestone) and beyond.
All vinification at Cherrier Frères is done according to soil type. Post-fermentation, the wines are left to age on their lees in stainless steel tanks prior to blending. The final wines are crisp, mineral laden, and undeniably Sancerre. In addition to their world-class white wines, the François and Jean-Marie also craft small amounts of Sancerre Rouge and Sancerre Rosé, as well as their signature red and white wines from Menetou-Salon.
Sauvignon Blanc, a very recognizable white wine that is popularly dry, refreshingly zesty, and has strong, fruity and herbal characteristics. Ever hear of the term “pyrazines?” It’s a term noting the strong herbaceous flavors that are derived from compounds called Methoxypyrazines. These compounds are also found in bell peppers! A flagship varietal to the Loire Valley in France (Sancerre) and New Zealand, the Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand tend to be more aromatic and have tropical fruit notes than those from the Bordeaux or Loire Valley regions in France. Usually fermented in stainless steel vats, Sauvignon Blanc gives a clean, crisp flavor with occasional mineral notes, but no characteristics from oak, like you would normally see in a grape varietal like Chardonnay. However, look out for Fumé Blanc, this style of wine is an oaked-version of Sauvignon Blanc.
THE LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE
The Loire is actually the largest river in France and the Loire Valley is a large region that follows as it flows towards the Atlantic. Another cooler climate region in France, the Loire Valley produces many exciting and exceptional red, rosé, and white wines in a variety of styles. Lean and lively white varieties like Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne or Melon Blanc) dominate in many sub-regions here including Anjou-Saumur, Touraine, and the Upper Loire (Centre). Rustic reds like Cabernet Franc, Gamay, and Côt (Malbec) are also grown in smaller areas. Some of the most infamous for Cabernet Franc are that of Bourgueil and Chinon located in the Touraine (Middle Loire). The Loire Valley is also known to produce quality sparkling wines from grape varieties including Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc (for rosé). You’ll often find these wines to be tart with fresh fruit flavors and labelled as Crémant de Loire.