The wines of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and their neighbours
By Jim Budd
This Guide was last updated on 23 April 2011
To explore this Wine Travel Guide, select from the menu on the left
A long established variety in the region, Pinot Noir and Gamay used to dominate Sancerre before phylloxera. An early ripening variety Pinot suits the northerly climate of this part of the Loire and does particularly well on limestone soils. It is the main variety for red and rosé wines in the Central Vineyards producing mainly light and easy drinking wines, though some more serious examples can bear comparison with at least village Burgundy.
Much more common in Touraine, although before appellation rules some was planted in Sancerre. Now only found in Coteaux de Giennois (blended with Pinot Noir) and Châteaumeillant where it gives generally light, easy drinking reds best served cool.
Sauvignon is the dominant variety in the Central Vineyards and the one that has both made its reputation and brought wealth over the last 40 years to a previously poor region of France. Although originally a Bordeaux variety, it is very well adapted to the semi-continental climate and soils of the region. In general, the wines give classic aromas and flavours of gooseberry, grapefruit and lemon.
Only found in Pouilly-sur-Loire it faces extinction here and it’s difficult to see why, apart from historical curiosity, it should be saved - only 35ha remain - at best here it only produces ‘pleasant enough’ wines.
Used to make a pale rosé in Reuilly, which is often called Vin Gris. However, Pinot Gris is now losing out to the more popular Pinot Noir.
Planted in the Coteaux Charitois mainly at Les Pénitents making attractive mid-weight wines. The amount of Chardonnay here is likely to decline as the major producer Domaine Mellot is keen to plant more Pinot Noir.
COPYRIGHT AND DISCLAIMER
This information is provided free of charge, however it is strictly the copyright of Wine Travel Guides and its contributors. We try to do our best in keeping our guides and information up-to-date and accurate, but if you notice any mistakes, please contact us. Note that we take no responsibility for any inaccuracies. Thanks for your respect and understanding. For full details see our Terms and Conditions.