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What's Open Owen? - June '21 Edition

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Summer shines bright in Chicago as restaurants open up and life begins to transition closer to "normal."

I often think of white wine as situational. For me, it needs to be paired with the right food or be the right context. The right context being somewhere warm, outside and in the sun. There are a few exceptions to my rule, Sancerre being one of them. So, let's talk Sauvignon Blanc.

Sauvignon Blanc originally hails from Bordeaux and is one of the most influential grapes in the world. Interestingly enough, Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a cross between Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc and used in white Bordeaux blends from Entre-Deux-Mers to the sweet wines of Sauternes. However, it is a grape which thrives in a plethora of environments especially from the new world.

Sauvignon Blanc has been successfully produced in places such as New Zealand, the United States, Australia, and South Africa, making it one of most versatile grape in existence. However, each terroir expresses itself very differently. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is certainly the most famous expression outside of France with notes of high acid citrus like tangerine and grapefruit, melon, and a wonderful herbaceousness.

This brings me to the point of Sancerre. Sancerre is a region in France in the Eastern part of the Loire Valley, which only grows Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. As we have discussed in other posts, the Old World names their wines after regions and towns rather than by grape varietals. When one picks up a bottle of Sancerre Blanc at the store, the grape is always Sauvignon Blanc.

Here is what's currently open:

2020 Domaine Fournier Père et Fils Sancerre Les Belles Vignes

This wine is phenomenal! A blend of grapes from the three different terroirs of Sancerre, it is a wonderful expression of the region. 100% Sauvignon Blanc vinified in stainless steel for 3 months maturing on fine lees.

If you want to try a seriously delicious Sancerre, this is the wine for you. Expressing notes of lemon, blackcurrant, and finishing with a fantastic minerality, I would pair this cuvée with a light seafood dish or a creamy goats cheese on a rustic cracker. I am thinking about seared scallops in a lemon butter sauce - yum! No need to age this wine either, as this is the style of wine you just simply need to enjoy now.

Have any questions or comments? Don't be afraid to reach out and let me know what you have open this month.



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