2020 Chavignol Domaine Vincent Delaporte
As ever this is beautifully fresh, a lovely citrus tang and salty zip at the outset but it is the weight of perky fruit that fills out the middle and drives this on, making it so much more impressive than almost anyone else achieves in the appellation. The Delaporte vines are all in Chavignol - the undisputed top spot for Sancerre. With rolling hills more reminiscent of the Cote d'Or than the ubiquitous plains of the Loire valley it is no surprise that the quality is so much higher here. L&S (Jun 2021)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Domaine Vincent Delaporte
Patrick and I first visited Vincent Delaporte in 1986, a memorable end to a long day, we finished by tasting older and older red and white Sancerres. His wines were in Steven Spurrier's selection for the Caves de la Madeleine, where I had worked several years earlier, and the London end of which Patrick was running at the time. They have featured in the Lea & Sandeman selection since our very first list. The domaine passed to Vincent's son Jean-Yves and his wife Nathalie, and now their son Matthieu is in charge, after a 'stage' at L&S in the summer of 2012, and taken over the winemaking role. They have recently incorporated the vines of Matthieu's uncle, giving them two new jewels in the crown, decent holdings in the Monts Damnés (white) and Cul de Beaujeu (red).
Matthieu has taken the domaine in the direction of organic farming, although he still hesitates over going for certification. He has stopped buying new barrels, and stopped using cultured yeasts, sometimes allowing malolactic fermentation to occur. Levels of sulphur are kept to the barest minimum.
Back when New Zealand was all about sheep and rugby, the definitive Sauvignon Blanc was Sancerre. It is still a wonderful expression of the variety - steely and mineral, and super-refreshing.
Across the River Loire are the vineyards of Pouilly-Fumé offering similar precise Sauvignon cleanliness.
Less well-known but deserving of more attention are red Sancerres - the bouncy, light and elegant feel of simple Pinot Noir.
All are here, in this case.
If your presents are wrapped, the tree is up, fire is on and the smell of food cooking is permeating the house, then all you need to complete your Christmas is in this box.
Delicious grower Champagne to get your started, classic Burgundy and Bordeaux, an Italian beauty, haunting American Pinot Noir and to finish a Sauternes. Oh and not to forget a glass of Port as you doze off in front of those Christmas specials.
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