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Sancerre 2009 & further calls for screwcap

The results for Sancerre 2009 have been published in Decanter‘s September issue, with the vintage being described by judges as atypical and inconsistent, despite some very attractive, drink-now wines. One critic described it as “a Jekyll and Hyde vintage”, although Loire 2009 as a whole was considered a good year.

Sancerre is known for its terroir and is believed by many to be the world’s best region for Sauvignon Blanc. Herbaceous flavours, lively acidity and a flinty minerality are some of the famous trademarks.

The 2009 vintage was hot, and it was difficult as a result. After bottling it was noted that alcohol was a problem (some over 15% ABV), although the better examples mellowed down with time. The trick was to pick at the optimum point in time, when the desired alcohol level and flavour profile could be achieved. Unfortunately for some, there was no window of opportunity to do this, so grapes were left on the vine for longer than they should have been, impacting on final alcohol levels.

Another criticism was the number of faults. According to one critic, there were only five or six screwcaps among 112 wines, yet in the space of 40 wines they came across five corked wines. One of the replacement bottles was also corked and another was oxidised. I will continue to bang the drum for screwcaps. These kind of wines need to be fresh and that’s what screwcap will bring, whilst drastically reducing the number of corked and oxidised bottles.

Decanter’s piece on this finished by ensuring consumers that there are still good buys out there. This is a low yielding vintage after all, and with so many micro-climates, you can’t tarnish all with the same brush, but they urge consumers to buy with caution.

It was with sheer delight that we discovered our JJ Breton La Clochette Sancerre receive ‘best value’ Sancerre of 2009, earning a truly brilliant 17.5 out of 20 points. That’s a bit of a snip at €14.99.

“Lovely mineral fruit – serious, complex, sleek and long. Powerful and elegant; wears its weight lightly. Terrific.” (17.5/20, ‘Highly recommended’ & ‘Best Value Sancerre of 2009’)

Full article available in Decanter‘s September 2010 issue.

2 Comments

  1. I haven’t had the Breton myself but, as I mentioned on Twitter, a friend of mine was singing its praise to me recently.

    I agree that Sancerre is ideally suited to screwcap.

  2. No doubt Paul, cork should be banned in Sancerre! We should start a campaign.

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  1. […] was only recently that I picked up on an article in Decanter, acknowledging how cork closures weren’t helping matters for the Sancerre 2009. It’s […]

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