If you see the names Lafond and Ladoucette on a bottle, you know that what is inside is one of the world’s greatest examples of Sauvignon Blanc. Wine bottles bearing these names have been showing the best side of Sancerre for more than two centuries.
Their holdings in Sancerre in France’s Loire Valley are perfectly situated for growing Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The climate in the Loire Valley is classified as continental, which is a nice way of saying that their summers are extremely hot and their winters are bitterly cold. However, providing some relief in the summer is a wind influence from the Atlantic, protecting the vines from the most extreme weather conditions. A long growing season allows effortless ripening and ample opportunity for the grapes to develop their characteristic flavors and aromas.
The vineyards of Ladoucette are situated on slopes overlooking the Loire River, where the soil is predominantly made up of limestone, marl, and clay. This soil composition is ideal for Sauvignon Blanc grapes because it provides excellent drainage and imparts mineral characteristics, balancing the fruit flavors and adding complexity. The chalky limestone soils are highly prized for their ability to produce wines with a distinctive “gunflint” minerality.
The estate’s 2021 Comte Lafond Sancerre AC is a prime example of the winery’s status at the top of the Sauvignon Blanc pedestal. On the nose, the wine offers aromas of white peach, gooseberry, and a hint of citrus, which are mirrored on the palate, where flavors of ripe citrus and tropical fruit mingle with that hallmark gunflint minerality.
This would be wonderful with any seafood dish, and is the rare wine that can stand up to acidic items like vinaigrettes and tomatoes.
And don’t forget cheese! Preferably a really grassy, barnyard-evoking French sheep or goat.
A decadent, Sancerre-inspired picnic in the country would be an excellent way to spend that first warm sunny day of the year. But first, grab the wine.