Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Wines of Guy Saget

In my previous post today, I discussed the food I had at a wine luncheon Market by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and now I want to talk about the wines. Our host, Pasternak Wine Imports, showcased four wines from Guy Saget, a winery located in the Loire Valley, France.

Guy Saget is a family winery, now in its 9th generation, and we met two people currently involved with the winery. I was pleased to meet Arnaud Saget, one of the producers and Philippe Reculet, one of their four winemakers. The family grows about 70% of their own grapes and purchases the other 30%, such as all of their Muscadet.

Unlike the food, the four wines were more impressive, from their simple Sauvignon Blanc to their more complex Pouilly Fumé.

The 2008 La Petite Perriere Sauvignon Blanc ($11.99-$12.99) is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc and has an alcohol content of 12.5%. The grapes are from the estate Domaine d’Artois, located on the right bank of the Loire in the appellation district of Touraine Mesland. The vineyard is planted on two different types of soil: sand and clay with a hint of limestone. Less than 100,000 bottles were produced.

The wine sees no oak so that the fruit can be prominent. And it is, with delicious flavors of grapefruit and peach. There were no grassy smells or flavors, like you find in New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The wine is fresh, crisp, and pleasant though a simple wine. It is an easy-drinking wine, which is very food-friendly as well. A good value at this price point.

The 2008 Les Clissages d'Or Muscadet Sevre et Maine is made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne and has an alcohol content of 12%. They purchase the grapes for this wine from a grower which they have associated with for about fifteen years. They produce about 300,000 bottles of this wine and like the Petite Perriere, it sees no oak.

This wine also had plenty of fruit, though milder grapefruit, some pear and white peach. There were also some floral notes, as well as prominent minerality. Plenty of acidity makes this a good food wine too. There is a bit more complexity in this wine than the Petite Perriere, yet it remains very easy-drinking.

The 2008 Domaine de la Perriere Sancerre ($23.99) is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc and has an alcohol content of 12.5%. This vineyard, acquired by the Saget family in 1996, covers 40 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and 4 hectares of Pinot Noir in the AOC Sancerre. A unique feature is that there is a 10 hectare block planted on flint soils which produces fleshy wines that age well. About 150,000 bottles were produced.

This is an elegant and more complex wine which really pleased me. It is dry with pleasant flavors of lemon, citrus, and plenty of minerality. It also has plenty of acidity and a lengthy, satisfying finish. Though it will pair well with food, it could also be enjoyed on its own. I think it would be a wonderful summer wine, something to slowly savor while lounging in the sun. Though you can see some similarities to the Petite Perriere, you also realize how this wine surpasses the Petite.

The 2008 Le Domaine Saget Pouilly Fume ($29.99) is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc and has an alcohol content of 12.5%. The grapes come from 10 hectares spread over the lieux-dits of Vaurigny, Les Chantalouettes, Les Fougères and Les Roches, all located in the district of Pouilly-sur-Loire. Only 30,000 bottles were produced, and this is considered like a reserve wine.

Like the Sancerre, this Pouilly Fumé was elegant and complex yet it seemed more delicate and had a smoky touch to it. There were also more floral elements and a bit more minerality. So fascinating that we had three wines made from the same grape, yet they were quite different. All four of the wines were very good, and priced quite reasonably. If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, then check out the wines of Guy Saget.

No comments: