2015 Domaine la Clef du Récit Sancerre

SKU #1288512 95 points Decanter

 Biscuity aromas and a fresh, peachy, vivacious palate. Depth and polish, not too fruit-driven, relying on that flinty edge and an appealingly stony finish.  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

Winemaker Anthony Girard grew up in his family's Sancerre winery, but spent a number of years learning about production all over the world before returning home to continue working with sauvignon blanc. While continuing to help with the namesake Girard label, Anthony wanted to create his own project on the side and eventually purchased a small plot of pristine real estate near the town of Récy with primo Sancerre limestone soils. After acquiring the vines he was given a large key as a symbolic gesture of new ownership, or a "clef du récit," which became the name of the estate. While the heavy limestone content helps the fruit to retain bright acidity, a portion of the vineyard is planted in flintier grounds, which adds minerality to the finish. Anthony's wines have been renowned for their freshness and zip, in true Sancerre fashion.

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By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/9/2017 | Send Email
It seems like every broker, importer and distributor has a nice Sancerre to show me. Since taking over the Loire category, earlier this year, I have tasted at least fifty different samples. Sancerre is a region with many quality producers but of out of all those wines I tasted, the biggest standout this year is the 2015 Domaine la Clef du Recit. Winemaker Anthony Girard was introduced to us by our friend Nicolas Idiart, himself a winemaker in the Loire. I, personally, love these types of referrals because it puts us in touch with winemakers that other producers are most excited to share. When we tasted the wine we were immediately taken by the vibrant nose of lemon oil, wet hay, and green plums. On the palate, a rich mouthfeel stems partially from the ripeness of the 2015 vintage but also from the Silex (flint) soils that add power and density to the wine. The acid structure and minerality come from the classic les Caillottes (limestone gravel) soils. A resonance of tropicality emerges on the finish with notes of passion fruit and a little dried pineapple. Both of Anthony's exceptional soils are difficult to work in their own ways but the net quality of the wine can most definitely be felt in this tremendous glass of wine. This Sancerre has arrived just in time to kick off the warm weather season making it the perfect foil for something simple like a tarragon chicken salad or maybe a little more complicated like seared sea scallops over a celery root puree. No matter what, this is an easy wine to pair that will keep you coming back to the glass over and over with its satisfying complexity.

By: Morgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/7/2017 | Send Email
If you're looking for a fruit forward style of Sancerre, this is your wine! It's refreshing, fruity and bright. What's intriguing about this wine is the type of fruit you get; lychee and white nectarine. With 2015 being a riper vintage, this wine has some body to it as well, giving you a richer mouthfeel. There are some classic Sancerre markers in this wine, with mouthwatering acidity and minerality stemming from the limestone rich soil, creating a lovely balance that will keep you coming back for more!

By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/5/2017 | Send Email
This wine is for the lover of mineral-driven wines. An absolutely classic Sancerre with aromas of flint and grass and flavors of lemongrass, wet stones, chalk and stone fruit. This wine manages to have incredible acidity in a vintage that is known for its body and ripeness. Enjoy this wine or hold for few years to really watch it shine.

By: Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/4/2017 | Send Email
Unlike other white wines from 2015 vintage which was very warm and wines achieved high level of ripeness, "La Clef Du Recit " is classically structured, perfectly balanced Sancerre. It has fresh, clean, mineral palate with precise acidity and beautiful citrus fruit notes. On the nose I get just a hint of wild honey intertwined with stony aromas with a touch of herbs as well. This is the best and by far the most elegant 2015 Sancerre I have tasted so far, and at this price it should not be missed!

By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/4/2017 | Send Email
The very first French wine I ever drank was a white wine from Sancerre. To this day, I have enormous affection for Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. I would happily drink the wine all day long, and if you allow me to enjoy it alongside a nice fresh baguette and an excellent goat cheese, I am more than content. Imagine my delight then when my colleague, David, told me to “grab a glass…you have to taste this new direct import Sancerre that just arrived from France.” Sure, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. I ran to comply. I wasn’t familiar with Anthony Girard, or his wines, although I understand the many branches of the Girard family are well-established in Sancerre. I don’t know if genetics play an influence here, or perhaps it is instead the quality of the terroir, or simply Mr. Girard’s winemaking skills, but this 2015 Domaine la Clef du Récit Sancerre is truly outstanding. From the first hint of dried herbs on the nose, to the perfectly ripe stone fruit notes, to the intensely flinty, mineral core, this is textbook Sancerre. Immensely enjoyable, and with our direct import pricing, eminently affordable.

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/4/2017 | Send Email
For those who value freshness and clean mineral flavors above all else in their white wine, this is the best Sancerre from the 2015 vintage I've tasted this year and it sings with stony, rocky, flinty notes on a long and lingering finish. What makes Girard's little 8.5 hectare plot of vineyards dynamic is the mix of limestone and flinty soils. The former helps the grapes to retain acidity, while the latter adds that textbook minerality as a balance between the fruit and the acidity. This is the ultimate warm weather bottle of French white. It's a wine I plan on coming back to time and time again. It's not a matter of how many bottles you want, but rather how many cases!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Loire

- Of all of the French wine producing regions, the Loire might produces the greatest variety of wines. They range from still to sparkling, very dry and acidic to hearty sweet, and clear in color to a deep purple. The diversity of wine produced in this region is due in part to its dynamic climate, which ranges from Continental to Mediterranean. This region is best known for Sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc and Cabernet Franc. The most famous areas in the Loire Valley may be Sancerre and Vouvray.
Alcohol Content (%): 13