2016 Domaine Du Nozay SancerreSauvignon Blanc from France
List Price: $32.00
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"Importer Neil Rosenthal's first imported vintage of Domaine du Nozay’s flagship cuvee shows impressive complexity. Fermented naturally and raised entirely in small stainless s...
"Importer Neil Rosenthal's first imported vintage of Domaine du Nozay’s flagship cuvee shows impressive complexity. Fermented naturally and raised entirely in small stainless steel tanks. To understand his vineyards as intimately as possible, Cyril vinifies and ages each individual parcel separately (no matter how small) and blends only before the time of bottling—a painstaking regimen. With a broad, flinty mineral core of palate-staining intensity, this cuvee positively bristles with energy, a testament to its supremely healthy biodynamically wrought grapes of origin. The fruit here stops well short of overt Sauvignon Blanc gooseberry, offering notes of lime zest, musk melon, and salty peach on a bright but not squeaky-sterile frame.
It’s refreshing to encounter a Sancerre that shows excellent typicity yet speaks more of the rocks beneath the soil than the fruit suspended above it.
The fifteen-hectare Domaine du Nozay lies at the northernmost extreme of the appellation—a contiguous and steep bowl of vineyards just outside the town of Sainte-Gemme-en-Sancerrois. Purchased back in 1971, the ambitious Philippe de Benoist purchased the stunning 17th-century Chateau du Nozay and began planting vines around the property. Today, his son Cyril runs the operation with boundless enthusiasm and effusive intelligence. In fact, Cyril is a nephew of the legendary Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée Conti (his mother Marie-Helène is Aubert’s sister), so perhaps that visionary spirit runs in his bloodstream. In an appellation in which it is so easy—and, perhaps, tempting—to produce wine with a minimum of effort and rely on its famous name to sell it, Cyril’s restless pursuit of his terroir’s deepest possible expression is admirable. The entire property is farmed organically, and Cyril is converting gradually to biodynamics (with certification in place for 2018); employs only spontaneous fermentations; and the wines are not rushed into bottle, instead spending much of those warm spring and summer “selling months” being nourished by their fine lees.
In terms of terroir, the micro-climate of Sainte-Gemme is a far cry from Bué and Chavignol. Whereas the latter two villages tend to produce Sancerre of ample fruit, clear varietal typicity, and intense concentration, Sainte-Gemme’s wines are a bit more feistily mineral-driven, a bit more marked by earth—it is perhaps no accident that Sainte-Gemme is the closest village to Chablis in terms of physical proximity. Domaine du Nozay’s wines show clear Sauvignon Blanc character, certainly, but a compelling underlay of chalk dust and fresh soil provide a fascinating contrast to the more regally poised and classically “Sancerre” offerings of Crochet. The patient student of terroir comes to realize over time that appellation boundaries are not strict limits, and that expressions at the fringes tend to bleed into one another. As lifelong devotees of this field of study, we are thrilled to welcome such a source into our family of growers—a new timbre of voice in France’s endlessly enchanting choir." -Importer
|Features||Organic and Biodynamic|
|Taste||grass, gooseberry, grapefruit, lime, melon, citrus, mineral and flint|
|Nose||apple, pear, kiwi, citrus, stone, grapefruit and melon|