Domaine La Croix Canat
Domaine la Croix Canat “Les Blancs Gâteaux” 2016 - Sancerre
The wine is produced with Sauvignon Blanc from a 3.40 ha parcel of old vines averaging 40 years of age and producing a yield of 55 hl/ha. The fermentations in stainless steel vats will take about 3 weeks at 18°C - 20°C. The wine will then be aged on fine lees in stainless steel vats for up to 8 months with some stirring of the lees to inhence aromatic complexity and body.
PVins notes: The wine has a pleasant mouthfeel due to its moderate fleshiness from the combination of the warm rocky terroir around Thauvenay, enabling a good maturity of the fruit and the ageing on fine lees. The wine is well structured and balanced with a freshness that is not to acidic compared to some style of Sancerre. Aromatically, the minerality of the terroir mixed with the Sauvignon Blanc characteristics really show the potential of the terroir. The wine may be cellared for up to 5 years.
Awards: Concours Général Agricole Paris 2017 - Gold Medal
From the same producer see Domaine Tinel-Blondelet Pouilly Fumé appellation.
Domaine La Croix Canat is located near the village of Thauvenay 3 kms south of the village Sancerre. In 1983, Annick TINEL-BLONDELET representing the 12th generation took over the estate from her parents Fernand and Camille, a family originally from Pouilly sur Loire located across the river Loire. The familly Blondelet has a long history in the area as winegrowers dating back to the end of the 16th century with Guillaume Blondelet a winegrower at Chaulgnes. Also on Annick's mother's side, the first sign of winegrowers in the family can be traced back to the 1650s with Louis Figeat. The family’s adventure in the appellation Sancerre started when her father Fernand bought a parcel in the 1960’s. Annick increased the size of the parcel by purchasing another plot in 1990.
The Domaine’s 5 ha are located near the village of Thauvenay located 3 kms south of the village Sancerre. The parcel is situated at the top of a hill facing South South-West. Vines are planted at a density of 6,400 vines per hectare with Sauvignon Blanc (3.40 ha) and Pinot Noir (1.25 ha). The Sauvignon Blanc vines average 40 years of age while the Pinot Noir was planted in 1987. The white Sancerre made with Sauvignon Blanc is named after the lieu-dit "Blancs Gâteaux" meaning "White Cakes". The name white cakes is in reference to the soil structure with its layers of limestone and flintstones making up 55% of the terroir. This rich rocky soil structure enables the grapes to ripen a little earlier than in other parts of Sancerre, meaning the producers are some of the first to harvest the new vintage in the appellation. During the night the rocks provide a warmer ground in the vineyard from the heat they absorbed during the day. This provides warmth to the vines which is ideal for the ripening of the grapes. The Pinot Noir is planted predominantly on rocky soil to benefit from extra heat.
Since July 2014, the estate is HVE (High Environmental) certified. This label, recognised by the Agricultural Ministry, demonstrates the Domaine’s efforts to protect at best the environment, based on indicators of results relative to the biodiversity, the phytosanitary strategy and the management of organic fertilization.
Annick Tinel-Blondelet produces 3 Sancerre wines: white, red and rosé. The vinifications are carried out at the Domaine Tinel-Blondelet located at Pouilly-sur-Loire. The winemaking process is classic for the white, the juice of the grapes is extracted with a pneumatic press and then transferred by gravity into the stainless steel vats. Each vat matches a unique plot to preserve the authenticity of the terroirs.
The white Sancerre named "Les Blancs Gâteaux" is made with Sauvignon Blanc, the wine is aged on fine lees for extra aromatic complexity and richness, no oak is used in the winemaking process. The red and rosé are made with Pinot Noir, the red grapes are fermented as whole bunches to give extra structure and balance. The red wine may be aged in oak barrels for a year depending on the potential of the vintage. As for the rosé, it is made from "saigné" run-off juice which also helps to reduce the amount of liquid in the vats to further concentrate the must for the red wine.
Annick has always produces wines that are true to the terroir and expression of Sancerre. She never tried to copy the “New World” style of Sauvignon Blanc as some have done in the region in the past. Her approach is to let the terroir express itself to provide a natural balance in her wines between the structure, texture and natural acidity.
The Sancerre appellation was created in 1936 for the whites and 1959 for the reds. The appellation stretches over 14 communes located on the left bank of the Loire River facing Pouilly Fumé on the opposite bank. Grapes have been grown here for about 2,000 years. Sancerre is considered to be the home of Sauvignon Blanc and a benchmark for the grapes characteristics.
Sancerre represent about 2,500 hectares mainly planted with Sauvignon Blanc and some Pinot Noir representing about 600 hectares. These are the only 2 grapes allowed in the appellation. The vineyards are planted on hillsides between 180m to 350m in altitude dominated by the “Piton” or peak on which seats the village of Sancerre. The area is made of hills and small valleys in which villages such Chavignol, also famous for its goat’s cheese, are located.
As for the terroirs there are 3 primary soil types:
“Terres Blanches” meaning white earth which is compact chalk atop kimmeridgian marl found in the western part of the appellation.
“Les Caillottes” is gravel and limestone located in the centre.
“Silex” (flint) is found in the eastern part of the appellation.
The white wines of Sancerre have a range of intense aromas such us citrus fruit, flint and grassiness on the nose, the palate is dry with fresh fruit and mineral notes with its famous crisp acidity depending on the provenance. The wines are usually consumed within 4 years.
Due to its location in the center of France, the region’s climate is continental and the river Loire also has an impact on the local micro-climate as a natural temperature regulator.