Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Rouge Belle Dame 2017

93 Wine Advocate

"Most people, when tasting the Belle Dame, a cuvée of 50 year-old vines of Pinot Noir grown on pure flint soils, compare it to Burgundy. It understandable and unfortunate at the same time as this is a terror quite distinct from anything in Burgundy – further north and on hard flinty soils. Before phylloxera, Sancerre was renown as Pinot Noir country, and justly so. Sadly, there are few producers, like Vacheron, who care enough to prove just how amazing Pinot Noir can be from this part of the Loire. It is a singular wine, and the benchmark Sancerre Rouge." European Cellars



Country: France

Region: Loire Valley

Appellation: Sancerre

Variety: Pinot Noir

Terroir: 50 year old vines on Flint, Limestone, and Marl soils (Silex and Caillottes), at an altitude of 300 meters.

Winemaking: Demeter Certified Biodynamic, Hand harvested, natural yeast fermentation in French oak vats, pigeage, 30 day maceration, 12 months in French oak barrels followed by 12 months in 25hl oak casks.

"Domaine Vacheron is one of Sancerre’s elite properties, producing both white, pink, and red Sancerre of amazing purity and definition. The domaine has been completely converted to biodynamic farming (certified by Biodyvin in 2005) with two young cousins, Jean-Laurent and JeanDominique Vacheron, at the helm. No synthetic material is used in the vineyard, harvests are carried out exclusively by hand, and the only fertilizer used is produced from the compost pile. Yields are kept extremely low. Having inherited some of the most coveted parcels in the appellation (and being smart about current land purchases), the cousins are trying a Burgundian approach to Sancerre winemaking, with parcels being vinified by terroir and blends varying from year to year. Pinot Noir is not an afterthought chez Vacheron, but a focus, and on soils just a couple of hours west of Burgundy, the cousins are making grand, expressive bottlings from the variety.

Vacheron is mainly a “silex” producer. Silex (flint) is found primarily in the eastern part of the appellation (and also across the river in Pouilly Fumé)
and almost all of Vacheron’s holdings are on this hard, minerally soil type. Flint produces vertical, long-aging Sancerre bottlings and the Vacheron
boys’ biggest aim is to let this shine.

Hand-harvested Pinot Noir from chalk and silex soils. Aged primarily in foudres with some neutral French oak barriques. While other producers see red Sancerre as a side job, this is a big priority at the domaine, with great care and attention given to the raw material. Delicious Pinot Noir." European Cellars


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