Like a lot of the top accounts in the country, I’ve been scrambling to fill the Sauvignon Blanc void that is coming for the 2021s. While the vintage was a disaster financially for wineries throughout France, the naturally thinned yields have produced some of their best wines ever.
But while I am extending my search beyond the confines of Sancerre, one family estate had already done that – in 1995. Sylvain Bailly owns parcels in some of the greatest vineyards in all of Sancerre: among their holdings are the great vineyards of Grand Chemarin, Le Château, Les Chasseignes, and the famous Chêne Marchand.
But in 1995, they found two parcels just outside of Sancerre in nearby Quincy that they just had have in their arsenal. Quincy, a little village on the east bank of the river Cher, is located between the towns of Bourges and Vierzon.
The parcels there are situated on vast limestone deposits of lacustrine origin, a near-perfect mix of clay and prehistoric shells. On the surface, fine gravel left from when the river used to have a different route – keeps the vineyards super dry and incredibly distinctive. There are no other vineyards in the whole Centre-Val de Loire quite like them.
The Sauvignon Blanc from here is pure, almost transparent with a touch of silver and features aromas of maritime salinity (no doubt due to the deeper soils), lemon rind, and a touch of grapefruit. The whole mouthfeel is bold, fruity, and refreshing.