Even the very best producers have a dilemma. The price of land in Sancerre has become prohibitively expensive, with new and existing markets flocking to the floral, concentrated, wonderfully vibrant wines of the appellation . The land cost is now so high that winemaking families can't make the math work when considering a purchase in the appellation. How then does a family-owned Sancerre estate grow, when growth is a requirement given the rapidly increasing costs of production?
Increasingly, these producers are looking outside Sancerre to other, lesser appellations where they can find high quality Sauvignon Blanc vineyards, as well as growers who are happy to have the Sancerrois oversee their grape growing.
This wine is a great example of what's described above. The Laporte family owns two prestigious estates in Sancerre, the most talked about of which, Domaine du Rochoy, is really top shelf. The family spent years studying the problem of enlarging their production, realizing the risks of buying more land in Sancerre at current prices. They enlarged their search to other, small appellations, looking for growers in Valencay and the Touraine appellations before stumbling upon three growers with excellent Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in Cheverny -- about 120 kms west of Sancerre, just outside of Blois. They wasted little time engaging the growers in a contract that allows the Laportes to oversee the farming, harvest and delivery of grapes to Sancerre.
Domaine Laporte Vineyards
This 2007 "Sauvignon" is like a baby Sancerre. Without the mineral depth and complexity, but still full of the bright, vibrant, fresh fruit, you can't miss the Sancerre signature in this delicious Sauvignon Blanc.
There's nothing quite as good with the fresh Loire Valley Sauvignons as the local goat cheese, Crotin de Chavignol. Try either the fresh or more aged versions. Both bring out the sweetness in the wine, while the Sauvignon bite perfectly cuts the richness of the cheese. If you aren't a cheese person, enjoy this wine as an aperitif, with summer salads, or with pan-roasted white fish dishes.