We like to call Domaine Sauvète wines “stress-free” because what’s in the bottle comes not only with an iron-clad organic certification (Ecocert) but also the know-how of four generations of artisan winemakers in Touraine.
The family vineyards in Monthou-sur-Cher are exactly what you’d expect in terms of great terroir—their hand-tended plots are found on a south-facing, stony plateau overlooking the river Cher, and are chock-full of older vines. Touraine’s claim to fame in ancient days was the mining of gunflint, and this legacy is what gives local Sauvignon Blanc its racy zip and mineral zing. (In some areas, flint stones are everywhere—pick up two rocks, bash them together, and it’s just like firing a cap gun.)
Winemakers Jerome and Dominique Sauvète too are the type of folk that invite you in for a quick glass and all of a sudden, the hours have passed and you’ve finished a casual but sumptuous meal and have no idea where the time’s gone. Their easy confidence betrays just how hard they work, day in and day out, to keep their 100% organic vineyards in tip-top shape. Given just how good these wines are, there’s no question that this dedicated pair could ask two, even three times as much for their hard work. But they don’t.
The family cares for its 40 acres of vineyard land according to organic principles, and is certified organic (Ecocert). In recent years, they’ve incorporated more biodynamic practices, such as using plant-based teas and preparations to help combat vine maladies, and working according to the lunar calendar.
Most work is performed by hand, with the goal of keeping the land and the vine in balance. Many of the family’s vines are older, and naturally low yielding. Harvest each year is performed also by hand.
Half of the estate’s vineyard holdings is dedicated to white grapes, located on a higher-altitude plateau over the Cher river, a region rich in clay and flint. Red grapes grow on south-facing hillsides that are very rocky.
Each vineyard parcel is vinified separately, to preserve its terroir character. Juice is fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled tanks. Depending on the cuvee, wine is aged either in tank or in French oak barrel.
This bright and racy bottle will give many a Sancerre a run for its money! Lemony and lively with plenty of oyster shell spark, Sauvignon Blanc from the flinty soils of Touraine is a delightful discovery. All the mineral energy with a layer of riper white fruit, wonderfully thirst-quenching and fresh.
VINEYARDS: Estate vineyards are found on two separate plateaus (Mardelle and Bocagerie), overlooking the river Cher near the village of Monthou. Here soils are sandy, with subsoils rich in clay, limestone and flint; ideal for fresh, racy Sauvignon Blanc wines.
AGE OF VINES: 20-40 years
WINEMAKING: Hand-harvested. Pressed then fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled tanks. Aged briefly in tank, with regular lees stirring. Lightly filtered.
TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Aromas of fresh citrus, crisp pear, crushed oyster shell. Fresh and medium-bodied; complex yet light on the tongue. Lingering citrus notes.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Charcuterie (air-dried salami, fresh goat’s cheese), fresh shellfish, grilled white meat (chicken/pork)