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Saturday, November 30, 2013

When Sauvignon Blanc meets Center Loire

Sauvignon is one of the most famous grape varieties that can be found all around the world. You may ask which region is the best, the answer are no doubt in the Center Loire, Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. Today I will take you to reveal the secret of the marriage of Sauvignon Blanc and Center Loire. 

As we know, Sauvignon Blanc is a varietal characterized by its beautiful freshness, ingenious, acidity and abundant aromas. We can also find blackcurrant, grass, fresh vegetable and leafy aromas in it sometimes. However, it is not suitable for every region. If it is planted in the hot climate, it will lose many freshness and fruitiness, that’s why we rarely find Sauvignon Blanc under 40˚ of Northern Latitude. Furthermore, Sauvignon Blanc is very vigorous, during the growth of grape we need to remove the new leaves and shots to concentrate the ripening grapes and to achieve a perfect balance between acidity and fruitiness. You may think that there is a mount of region which is required for these conditions, but why Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé are the best place for Sauvignon Blanc.

That’s the mystery of Center Loire’s Climate and Terroir. Thanks to the influence of the continental climate and the distance from the Atlantic, Center Loire is hot in summer but not as long as the other typical appellations in Loire Valley. That gives Sauvignon Blanc enough energy to grow but not influence its freshness and fruity. 

Besides the climate, the Terroir helps to bring more interesting thing to Sauvignon Blanc. In Sancerre, the soil is based on white chalky soil, we call it usually Kimmeridgian like Chablis. However, these soil are quite different, each soil can bring different things in the wine. In the eastern of Sancerre, it has flinty soil which gives a very mineral driven and seems like a steely wine. In the center and southwest part, the soils are chalkier which gives the wines more lovely original aromatics. Toward the west and north of Sancerre, the soil is more gravel and marl which brings more fruity aromas in the wine. 

Meanwhile, Pouilly Fumé has also its own characteristic and speciality. In Pouilly Fumé, there are 4 different kinds of soil: Limestone soils, Marls with oyster shell deposits, Flint, Clayey-flint soil, such as Sancerre, each soil has different influence to the wine. Limestone soil is a warm soil which can give the wine freshness and more fruity aromas. Marls with oyster shell deposit soil helps the wines to ripen more regularly and is less sensitive to climatic variations. Flint soil produces powerful wine with typical flavor of gun flint and spice and the last, sand and clay based soil, Clayey-flint soil. This wine is produced in this region, it’s softer, smother, and less mineral than the others. 

When Sauvignon Blanc meets Center Loire, it shows all of its beauties to us, different microclimate and different soil make completely different kind of wine, If you take your bicycle, walking across the vineyard, and then taste the Sauvignon Blanc wine in the different wineries, you will find more diversities and more mysteries. Then you must be attracted and be falling love with this region, the heaven of Sauvignon Blanc.   

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