Report on our Sancerre Dinner
We held our Sancerre dinner on “The Yacht” London on July 27th which was a rip-roaring success.
Christophe Mangeart, who is the director and winemaker for the Sancerre cooperative, took us through the wines to show the diversity of the appellation.
Starting off with a fruity “Guillopées” 2016 Rosé to accompany canapés in the Stateroom, we then repaired to the private Ward room where 25 of us sat down to dinner.
The first course, a delicious combination of King Scallops, Crushed Peas, Crispy Pancetta, Salsa was accompanied by the 2015 white “Les Garennes” Blanc, full and round and an excellent accompaniment to the slightly sweet scallops. Christophe told us an interesting story about this wine. The proprietor of the vineyard went of in August to get married in Madagascar. The wedding was apparently so good, that he delayed his return for a week, but by the time he did this, he grapes had matured somewhat more than he usually allowed them to. However, this gave a pleasantly surprising extra richness to the wine and so from now on, starting with the 2016 vintage (not yet bottled) they decided to make this cuvée in this way to give it its distinctive style. It was certainly well received by all.
The next course, Sea Bream, Samphire, Burnt Leeks, Sorrel Sauce, required a more austere version of the Sauvignon Blanc grape and it certainly got it here. Quite a minerally Sancerre Blanc “”Les Granges Brulées” 2016 was a perfect foil to the sorrel sauce with the sea bream and the fleshiness of the fish which was cooked á point.
Herb Crusted Lamb, Butternut Puree, Crushed Potato & Caper Cake demanded a red with some body and the “Les Garennes” Sancerre Rouge 2015 did not disappoint. It does show how much the Pinot Noir from this area has improved – this could have easily been comparable to a village Burgundy. 20 years ago, you would have been lucky to have a good Sancerre Rouge vintage every 5 years, now I think it’s rare when there is a poor year. A combination of global warming and improved winemaking techniques has seen to that. And of course, it’s much better value for money.
The 4 cheese selection – Somerset Brie, Vintage Cheddar, Goats Curd, Shropshire Blue, came with both a red and a white wine to accompany them. The red Sancerre Rouge 2013 was not from one of the better recent vintages, but the white “La Sourire de la Vallée” 2016, was the nearest we came to a zingy new world Sauvignon Blanc. And the overwhelming consensus was that contrary to conventional wisdom, the white went much better with the cheeses than the red.
All in all, it was a great evening and when we rose at around 11pm, we all agreed that we would be looking forward to the next dinner at “The Yacht”.
We are working on this and hope to bring another producer over in the autumn and we’ll keep you posted.