Friday, May 18, 2012

REVIEW - 2009 Balland Chapuis Sancerre Le Vallon

REVIEW - 2009 BAlland Chapuis Sancerre Le Vallon 
SKU: 1090247  
Origin: France  |  Loire Valley
Agent: Nobilis Wine Importers Ltd.

In the Glass – This wine has a pale to medium lemon colour

On the Nose – This clean, medium intensity wine is fresh. With lots of citrus, specifically green apple, lemon zest, grass and hay. It has undertones of mushroom, with a stony/steely minerality.

On the Palate – This dry wine has a medium body with strong medium acidity. It sits on your palate with flavors of mint, pungent green pepper, and oyster minerals. Finishing long and with a grassy quality. Over all its well balanced and has a great "ocean breeze" quality to it. This comes from the chalky soils its grown in. I would call this wine very good. Especially to those out there who can appreciate the acidity.

According to their website Balland-Chapui has been owned by Guy Saget and his family since 1998, and it remains a historic name in Sancerre. Domaine Balland-Chapuis name has existed in Sancerre since the 17th Century.

With a Sancerre what you need to know is that this isn't a Sauvignon Blanc that is full of tropical new world fruit. Its grown in the Loire River, which, while being the longest river in France, is full of very stony limestone soils, known as “caillottes”, and chalk soils. It's easy to see why this wine pulls all that minerality.  

The Saget family boasts that they stick to "excellent vine growing and wine making principals using older vines, cropping at lower yields and letting nature speak for itself". Very much a "if it aint broke don't fix it" king of thing. This is a ideology that I think many producers who have come into winemaking with a preexisting and  historic label tend to leave behind because they are eager to make a unique name for themselves.  Dont get me wrong, I'm sure Saget family has made some changes to the way Domaine Balland-Chapuis was crafted prior to 1998 but they still stick to the same tried and true methods. And really, you're in the Loire, making Sancerre. What can you really do to change it?  

Now, it's been said that the 2010 vintage was the best they have produced yet but this is still one fine wine. I would pair this with any fish or a dish with goats cheese in it. The high acid will go with salt, other acid (as it will mitigate) and will also cuts through fat and oil. Over all fruit goes with spice so it would be great with wasabi peas too. This one will run less than $35 in most liquor stores


No comments:

Post a Comment