Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sancerre "Caillottes," François Cotat 2007

Today's object of vinspection is a wine I’d never before encountered until getting together with friends for dinner and a little tasting this weekend. As much as I like to share wisdom here regarding wines I’ve tasted year in and year out, sometimes it’s just as edifying and even more educational (for me at least) to record first impressions, maybe even open the door to dialogue with other readers and wine lovers.

Sancerre "Caillottes," François Cotat 2007
$36. 13.5% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Dionysos Imports, Manassas, VA.
François Cotat has been producing this cuvée since the 2005 vintage. Its fruit hails from Cotat's young vines grown in the flattish lands between Sancerre and Chavignol, where the soil is dominated by "caillottes," a rocky, chalk and limestone rich terroir with little in the way of what one would usually think of as topsoil.

2007 was a ripe vintage in the Sancerrois district and Cotat’s “Caillottes” shows it in its round, opulent mouthfeel and somewhat aggressive alcohol attack. While that roundness coats the entire palate, leaving a big impression, it also leaves a void right in the center, as if the wine grew up so fast that it never quite developed the strong core needed for good balance. Still, there’s a lot to like here: an intense impression of limestone-rich minerality, bolstered by flavors and aromas of key lime zest and a firm, mouthwatering clamp of acidity on the finish.

While this is not among the most finessed of Cotat’s wines, it’s still well-knit enough to present attractive possibilities on the table. I’d love to pair it with a well-aged puck of Crottin de Chavignol, or with a richly flavored fish with a beurre blanc sauce. Though I don’t think this vintage will ever find a perfect balance, were I holding any bottles I’d sit on them for another two or three years in hopes that it may develop greater harmony and integration.

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin