1959-2019 : 60 years for the Red Sancerre appellation
In 2019, the Sancerre red AOC celebrates 60 years of existence!
We reveal here the secrets of this beautiful wine appellation :
• Red Sancerre : an unique grape variety, the Pinot Noir!
The Pinot Noir grape is a red grape from the northern regions. It is an early variety, maturing slowly and very sensitive to frost. Adapted to clay-limestone soils and continental climates, this variety is delicate for its color and structure.
The Pinot Noir is a red grape with white flesh. So, if we press a grape, we get a white juice. It is therefore necessary to macerate the skins with the juice to obtain the red color.
This grape variety, an interpreter of terroir par excellence, therefore requires special care to express its fineness and elegance. An average vatting time makes it possible to obtain light and fruity red wines developing aromas of red fruits. A longer vatting time will give wines with a more assertive structure, a more powerful bouquet and more tertiary aromas.
• Sancerre and the Pinot Noir … an ancestral history !
In the 19th century, the Sancerre vineyards produced mainly red wines from Pinot Noir and especially Gamay. A part of the wines were intended for Champagne, to be blended with the base wines.
Following phylloxera, Sauvignon grows mainly thanks to a very good regrowth in grafting operations. The Pinot Noir was then replanted later, and with more difficulty, which explains the gap in obtaining the AOC between the white Sancerre -1936- and the red and rosé Sancerre -1959-
However, the quality of red Sancerre has risen sharply over the last two decades. The winemakers became aware of the specific work required to grow Pinot Noir and improved cellar work ; of harvest reception, of vatting and of ageing.
To illustrate these specificities, here are some explanations of the works carried out within our Domaine de Terres Blanches wine estate:
• At the vineyard: Soils are worked, allowing the multiplication of microorganisms and insects that enrich the soil, thus promoting better rooting and a better sugar / acid balance in the berries. We do not longer use weedkillers and we limit yields by pruning and by the practice of green harvesting; leaf-stripping (for aeration of bunches) and we carry out manual harvesting.
• Cellar: Reception of the harvest with vibrating table and sorting table. Subsequently, the sorted berries are transferred to the tank by conveyor belt. The vatting is carried out in specific vats for the vinification of the reds: in truncated vats of 80 hectoliters in stainless steel for our classic red sancerre and in vats of 20 hectoliters in wood for our cuvée “La Louisonne”.
The ageing, lasting 10 months, is carried out in wooden vats of 20 hectoliters for our red Terres Blanches Sancerre and in Burgundy barrels for our cuvée “La Louisonne”.
• Red Sancerre … wine tasting !
Fruits, greed, harmony, elegance and fineness. We find in our Sancerre red delicate aromas of red and black berries.
On the palate, the wines are structured, firm and persistent. Light mellow tannins offer them the opportunity of a few years of ageing.