Brighten up Winter with Aurore Dezat Sancerre
If you received our February wine club shipment, or if you went to our Loire tasting a few weeks ago, you might have had the opportunity to try the wines from Aurore Dezat. This small producer from Sancerre makes three wines, two Sancerre blanc and one Sancerre rouge, and is a relatively new sensation with our staff. We just started working with her a few years back, and each year the wines get better and better.
Aurore Dezat is third generation at Domaine des Chasseignes. This family-owned domaine began with her grandfather, Marcel Dezat, then was passed down to her father, Denis, and her uncle, Claude, who tended the vines and sold the wine through negociants for several years. When she took over in 2011, she decided to bring her expertise and passion to the estate by bottling her own wines rather than selling bulk on the market. She began by improving the vineyard practices and incorporating organic and biodynamic principles to elevate the quality of the grapes. Over time, she slowly let the negociant contracts expire, bringing more of the fruit into her own cellar.
Located in the bucolic village of Sury-en-Vaux, the property is a total of 9 hectares, planted mostly to Sauvignon Blanc, with one hectare of Pinot Noir. Typical for the area, the soils are mixture of limestone, pebbles and flint, which impart distinct flavor characteristics in both the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Aurore has honed the domaine’s style, highlighting the strong minerality and gorgeous aromatics that come from her site. Her wines are stylistically friendly, showing less herbaceous notes and more racy fruit with a slightly chalky tension.
This week, as the rain poured outside, we brought a little sunshine inside with her “Les Chasseignes” Sancerre paired with crab. It was the perfect dinner to lift the mid-week, mid-storm doldrums. With a crisp minerality and long, broad palate, the Sancerre was a perfect match for the delicate flavors of the crab and rich dipping butter. Simple and easy, this is my favorite type of meal. Over the cracking crab and flowing wine, conversation seems to unfold easily and endlessly. A definite ray of light in the heart of winter.