2019 Famille Thomas Sancerre “Les Creots”
There is Sancerre, and then there is this Sancerre – with a personality and a charisma all its own.
The Thomas family has been growing grapes and making wine in the Central Loire hamlet of Verdigny since 1670. Today, the domain belongs to Julien Thomas, who represents the thirteenth generation of the Thomas family. The family has made honest Sancerre for three-and-a-half centuries, and the wine Julien makes builds on his family’s generations of winemaking experience and knowledge. Beginning with the 2019 vintage, Julien’s Les Créots is certified biodynamic.
The roots of the Les Créots vineyard grow up through limestone soils. (The term Les Créots refers specifically to the vineyard’s limestones.) The quality of the vineyard’s soils and the low yields of its vines render Sauvignon Blanc grapes with rich, deep, and complex flavors. The juice of these flavorful grapes are then vinified on their lees with battonage for up to eight months. Battonage — or lees stirring — is a customary practice for making Muscadet in the Pays de Nantes region of the Loire Valley, but far less common for making Sancerre in the Central Loire. This limestone soil, this way of cultivating Sauvignon Blanc, and this way of making Sancerre is what gives Les Créots its distinctive personality.
The 2019 Les Créots smacks your lips as it coats your tongue. It’s a creamy and voluptuous Sancerre, with Old World Sauvignon Blanc aromas of gooseberries and grapefruit and New World Sauvignon Blanc flavors of tropical citrus, apricot, and orange blossom. As rich as Les Créots is, the character of the wine rises up through its flinty, limestone minerality. Just like the roots of the Les Créots vineyard.
This is the ideal style of Sancerre for the end of summer. A style I’ll happily serve to guests through the months of autumn. A style I’ll happily drink myself on the coldest winter nights. A style I’ll happily age in my cellar and watch evolve through next spring and summer.