Loire Valley, France
Alc. 13 %
An instant classic from a classic region! The Alain Gueneau Sancerre "La Guiberte" comes from a small family-owned estate at the Eastern end of France's Loire valley. Sancerre is a world benchmark region for the ever-popular Sauvignon Blanc, but wineries here tend to produce quite different expressions from their New Zealand counterparts. You'll still find the grape's signature citrus freshness and a slight grassiness, but examples from Sancerre lean more towards restraint, minerality, and elegance. The secret is not only in Northern France's cooler climate, but also in the region's soil — a swathe of ancient clay-calcareous deposits that stretches from England's famous white cliffs of Dover across the channel and into Northern France. This is the most highly-prized terroir of the region, and the Gueneau is lucky enough to have a full 80% of their vines planted on these precious "terres blanches."
Alain and daughter Elisa are the 2nd and 3rd-generation of the Gueneau family to farm this land, three quarters of which is planted to Sauvignon Blanc vines with an average age of about 25 years. Enjoy this delicious, refreshing bottle (well chilled, of course!) now or over the next 3 years.
Straw hued yellow, clean and clear colouring, but understated in its reflection and shine.
Stone fruit - check! Mineral - check! Floral - check! This wine is definitely ticking off all the right boxes! Elegant, yet precise, showcasing refined aromas of white peaches, nectarine, apple blossom, and limestone. There is a flirting note of sweetness, that balances the nuanced nose with a bit of ripeness.
The minerality of saline and limestone sit on the tip of the tongue and linger through the entire taste. The wine washes over the mid-palate with a dominance of sweet citrus, white peaches, and plums. The fleshy, juicy stone fruits are balanced by the bitterness of the fruit skin. Light bodied, dry, moderate acidity, and a slightly exaggerated finish noted with blanched almonds and lemon rind bring the sip to an end. Time for another!
The hint of citrus is the perfect excuse for richer seafood fare. Imagine flakey crab cakes, oyster Rockafellar, or sweet coconut shrimp, partnered with a fresh wine that offers a cleansing zip to refresh the palate.