In Sancerre, the historic 2019 vintage was marked by a succession of heatwaves and extreme drought, which might have resulted in heavy, clumsy wines, had not relief come in September, and perfect conditions prevailed through the harvest. The wine comes from multiple parcels in and around the village of Bué, some planted on chalky calcaire in the first set of hills to the west of Sancerre, others on caillotte (super rocky limestone parcels), more on Kimmeridgian marl, and fewer on silex soils nearest the Loire. In the glass, this limpid, pale yellow-green wine unfurls gradually, with ethereal aromas of ripe green apples and pears, fresh flowers, and white grapefruit zest move in and out of the foreground, sometimes alternating with fleeting suggestions of cassis, anise, and a subtle lacing of beeswax as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is creamy, sapid and concentrated, at the same time reined in and precise, with a delicately spicy kernel of white nectarines joining the apples and white grapefruit zest, all seasoned with intense saline minerality that persists through the long, elegant finish. Drink now for the wine’s electrifying energy and primary fruit, or tuck away in a cool cellar for five years or more.
About this wine producer: If you can keep up with Dominique Roger on a brisk climb through his immaculate, steep vineyards, you’ll learn a lot more about wine, and maybe find that you suddenly care a lot more about who grows it and where it comes from than you ever did before. Dominique manages Domaine du Carrou in Bué, one of the 14 communes in the Centre-Val de Loire that is located in the Sancerre appellation. Since the 17th century, 8 generations of the Roger family have produced wines in the Bué area of Sancerre, which is known for exceptional terroir and producing complex wines. Today, the estate consists of 11 hectares (27 acres) of vineyards, with 7.5 hectares (18.5 acres) planted to Sauvignon Blanc and 3.5 hectares (9 acres) planted to Pinot Noir. In the vineyards, Dominique takes care to respect the environment when working the soil, and he skillfully prunes the vines to allow the grapes to reach optimum maturity. After hand-harvesting, Dominique and his workers select clusters one by one to further ensure grape quality. All of these practices reflect Dominique’s motto: “Pas de grand vin sans raisins d’excellence,” or “There are no great wines without excellent grapes."