94 Insider Points
An area primed for Pinot, Loire Valley's Sancerre Rouge is right up any Pinot lover's alley. Forest dew and light berry tones on the nose. Cranberry juice, woodsy strawberry and pink flowers on a light body with supple acidity. Easy going through the finish. 94 Points - JZ Aug '18
“Sancerre is justifiably famous for its Sauvignon Blancs, but it’s high time to pay attention to the reds which, while still small in number, are fast gaining a reputation for quality and Burgundian elegance,” writes Decanter.
But why take Decanter’s word? The Concours of Macon, Concours des Ligers, Concours des Grands Vins de France, Concours Général Agricole de Paris, Challenge International du Vin 2011 and the International Wine Challenge have all heaped medals upon this particular Sancerre Rouge, a Direct Import from the Loire Valley’s Cave de Gortona. Because this is an appellation stubbornly affiliated with Sauvignon Blanc, the estate’s Sancerre rouge is all but incognito--as all red Sancerres are.
Cave de Gortona’s winemaker and owner is Eric Louis, by now a Member fave well loved for his value-packed, estate-grown Sancerre blanc. This red also fashioned in Louis’ signature “non interventionist” style and from 100% Pinot Noir grown on the region’s famous clay-limestone soils. Fermented in 100% stainless steel and aged for 10 months in oak barrels from regional forests, this concentrated, exceedingly pretty red is scented with violets and woodsy spice notes with Bing cherry and summer plums defining the palate. Like Louis’ Sancerre, this Direct Import red is designed to enjoy with food and is equally adept as a partner to beef, chicken and cheeses.
· The Wine Enthusiast rated the 2015 vintage in the Loire with a rarely seen 96 points or “Superb".
· Employing natural techniques whenever possible, Eric Louis also farms according to lunar rhythms—with a nod toward biodynamic viticulture—and plants grass in between the rows of vines to nurture the soil.
· Louis’ vines are planted on the famed soils of the best AOCs in the Loire. Their holdings in Sancerre, in particular, are situated in the ideal terroir for flinty, mineral Sauvignon Blanc and elegant, aromatic Pinot Noir.
· Louis inherited this winemaking estate from this great grandmother, Pauline Louis who sold her hand-made white wine exclusively at local markets.
Based in Thauveney-en-Sancerrois in the Loire, Eric Louis produces textbook Loire Sauvignon (and Pinot Noir) from both Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. The family’s winemaking history dates back to 1860 and the current owner’s great-grandmother, Pauline, whose is recognised in the official company name: Les Celliers de la Pauline.
Today the domaine owns 10ha of vines, including a significant parcel of ‘La Cote Blanche’, one of the top areas of Sancerre. The domaine employs lutte raisonnee practices in the vineyard in order to let the land express itself to the full and limit the impact on the environment. In the cellar, traditional methods are favoured to produce classically-styled examples of the appellations.