Domaine Sylvain Bailly Sancerre Terroirs 2021
This is a classic styled Sancerre from Bailly’s vineyards in and around the village of Bué, one of the greatest villages in the appellation. This wine is jammed full with minerals, citrus and and rich, melon fruit. This wine will sing with most anything you pair with it especially goat cheese or shellfish.
The Bailly family have been vignerons in Sancerre from father to son since 1700. Like most winemaking families in France who suffered from the phylloxera blight in the late 19th century and then the two world wars of the 20th century, it was only in the early 1950's that Sylvain Bailly began to prosper and grow his business. His son Jacques has took the helm in the late 1980s and today, his daughter Sonia manages the estate. The domaine’s name refers to a crucifix erected in honor of the Saint Ursin on the property in 1877 by Mr. Ducroux-Dauny.
Bailly’s estate covers 12 hectares and is spread over 23 separate parcels. The vineyards are located mostly around the village of Bué with holdings in the famous vineyards of Chêne Marchand, Grand Chemarin, le Château and les Chasseignes. A bit of trivia about the name of Chêne Marchand which is arguably the most famous vineyard site in the Sancerrois region: Originally it was called the Choix Marchand which literally translates to mean “a merchant’s choice”, because it was the wines from this vineyard that the merchants kept for themselves.
Marked by its charming hilltop village in the easternmost territory of the Loire, Sancerre is famous for its racy, vivacious, citrus-dominant Sauvignon blanc. Its enormous popularity in 1970s French bistros led to its success as the go-to restaurant white around the globe in the 1980s.
While the region claims a continental climate, noted for short, hot summers and long, cold winters, variations in topography—rolling hills and steep slopes from about 600 to 1,300 feet in elevation—with great soil variations, contribute the variations in character in Sancerre Sauvignon blancs.
In the western part of the appellation, clay and limestone soils with Kimmeridgean marne, especially in Chavignol, produce powerful wines. Moving closer to the actual town of Sancerre, soils are gravel and limestone, producing especially delicate wines. Flint (silex) soils close to the village produce particularly perfumed and age-worthy wines.
About ten percent of the wines claiming the Sancerre appellation name are fresh and light red wines made from Pinot noir and to a lesser extent, rosés. While not typically exported in large amounts, they are well-made and attract a loyal French following.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.