Vincent Gaudry is a pioneer in sustainability having followed bio-dynamic principles on his relatively small 9 hectare holding since 1993; he acquired bio-dynamic certification in 2004. His desire is to make wines that express the "terroir" which has put him at odds with other producers from time to time. I like non-conformists willing to go out on a limb and challenge the norm. Though sometimes his methods are considered unusual, no-one can deny the excellent quality of this wine.
On the label is a picture of a cicada ("Cigale"); I am told that the cicada was commonly found in the vineyards in the winemaker's grandfather’s time but more recently had disappeared as a result of increasing industrialisation on farms, the heavy use of agro-chemicals and intensive mono-culture. Now the cicada is apparently making a tentative return as more farmers consider the sustainability of their methods.
When I first tasted the 2013 vintage of this beautiful Sancerre, I knew immediately that it was worthy of the Wines With Attitude portfolio. Similarly, the 2017 vintage is top quality, classic Sancerre, very drinkable even to someone like me who is not a huge fan of Sauvignon Blanc.
Light golden in colour, this wine initially gives off subtle Sauvignon Blanc grassy aromas but these fall away to be replaced by light gooseberry and lemon notes and a flinty minerality.
On first sip you are struck by the sharp acidity typical of Sauvignon Blanc but this quickly softens to a silky smooth texture. Classic gooseberry and citrus flavours combine with notes of peach and lychees; the mouth is coated with a long flavoursome finish which is very lemony with hints of white flowers. This wine is developing volume - it is currently medium-bodied - and is beautifully crisp and light; it transported me to a table laden with a seafood platter and fish dishes in a French harbour-side restaurant on a warm, sunny summer's evening.
Recommended as an aperitif or for drinking with a range of foods including goat's cheese (the classic match for Sancerre is Crottin de Chavignol), oysters, other shellfish and fish generally, smoked salmon, foie gras, dried ham, chicken, asparagus, tomato consommé and gazpacho, light omelettes and Japanese dishes such as sushi and sashimi.
"This wine has an intense and expressive nose of white flowers with notes of citrus and a smoky tang. It has a fleshy and balanced palate with citrus to the fore supported by a beautiful minerality."