2011 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Les Romains

2011 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Les Romains
‘Serious’ and ‘Sancerre’ are rarely synonymous. While its easy enough to find good examples on restaurant lists or shop floors, it is rare that a Sancerre shows any real breadth or complexity. The wines of Domaine Vacheron, however, are one of the exceptions.

While brothers Denis and Jean-Louis Vacheron are still very much involved, the running of the Domaine Vacheron in Sancerre now sits with their sons, cousins Jean-Dominique and Jean-Laurent. The cousins joined the family business in 1993 and 2002 respectively, at the then ripe ages of 21 and 23. The focus is very much on terroir; to express this more purely, the estate turned fully biodynamic in 2004. The estate holds 29 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and, unlike most Sancerre producers, the Vacherons produce their wines from individual parcels (a number of which they bottle as individual cuvées). We tasted the range at the end of July and were impressed by how each wine beautifully expressed a different vineyard trait, from the softer, white flower and honey style of Le Paradis through the smoky, firmly mineral Chambrates to the taut, saline Guigne-Chèvre.

Our favoured wine, from the vineyard ‘Les Romains’, is made from just 3.5 hectares on a particularly steep slope that faces south west. This southerly exposure, allied to the distinctive ‘silex’ or flint soils (which store heat and reflect warmth onto the vines), give a wine of notable ripeness, generous structure and silex-derived mineral length.

Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre 'Les Romains' 2011
£120 per six bottles in bond

An abundance of citrus fruit is complemented by peach notes and a subtle jasmine character. The silex soils offer great structure to the wine. A year spent ‘sur lie’ has added a texture and breadth to the palate, which is underpinned by a lively acidity that refreshes the palate and balances the succulent fruit depth. Drink 2013 – 2018

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