MCF Rare Wine
Yes, I'm Writing about a Sancerre
I love great Sancerre...let me put that out there now so that my snarky title doesn't throw anyone off...
Now, the reason I say 'Yes, I'm writing about a Sancerre' is because, well, if ever there was a category of wine that certainly didn't need a wise-ass wine merchant writing long-winded emails about its merits, it would be Sancerre.
As a shop owner who's gone weeks at a time without a Sancerre in hopes of getting people to break out of their patterns (you know, try a Fumé or Menetou or something non-Sauvignon Blanc entirely), I've always seen Sancerre as something that mainly sells itself.
(And, of course, there's nothing wrong with that...)
Also, also...for a category that has SO MANY, well, really crappy bottles bearing its name on their labels, it never ceases to amaze me that it's still such a juggernaut.
As I've documented in this newsletter before, Sancerre wasn't always the undisputed champs of Loire Sauvignon, but now it's a hell of a thing.
And I get it, there's nothing that quite scratches the itch when you're staring down a plate of seared scallops like a focused, mineral, aromatic and refined Sancerre.
And, while the Vatan/Cotat/Cotat/Boulay/Crochet/etc. crowd certainly get all the love they could ask for from the wine-geek crowd, today I'd like to highlight a producer who I've been selling for a good 8 years now, but, because it sells itself, I never really felt the need to point out.
Vincent Grall does it right...and today's Sancerre 'Le Grall' 2018 is definitely righteous, and it's all for us...as in, I bought all of it to sell to all of you. All of it isn't that much, either...because, with just 3.8 hectare and a garage winery, he's the second smallest producer in the appellation.
He farms organically, but isn't certified simply because, when you're as small as he is, you need to be able to allow yourself the chance to save a crop in a dire situation.
Compared to the most of the appellation, though, which is rife with all manner of industrial production methods, Grall is minuscule throwback of the best kind.
His wines reflect it.
He makes just three wines, all of them white. The Sancerre Cuvée Tradition is a blend of mainly Silex plots from around the Sancerre hill and is done entirely in stainless. The 'Le Manoir' comes from the marl/clay soils of Le Manoir de l'Etang, and is aged in 3-4 year old 600l Barrels.
But the 'Le Grall' is a selection of his very best parcels, and is fermented and aged in upright wooden vats, and the end result is an expressive, mineral wine that perfectly balances the fresh, fragrant, focus with the citric, textured fruit. This is a very genuine and honest expression of Sancerre, no ambitious structure, and certainly no tropical fruits...just plain delicious Sauvignon...just the way we like it.
While I'd have been perfectly happy to have a big chunk of Sancerre sitting in the stock room and not have to worry about re-ordering it for a few weeks, I've been 'silent' about Grall for long enough, and it's time that he got his due...
So, yeah...I just wrote about a Sancerre...
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