Happy Accidents in the French Countryside

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One of my last entries before we left for our #eurotrip was about the Henri Bourgeois wine. As was probably evident from the entry, I loved it.

So you can imagine my delight when we accidentally planned our wine trip to Sancerre with Henri Bourgeois as part of the itinerary.

Sancerre - view

Spectacular view of Sancerre vineyards

First, a little background on why we ended up in Sancerre in the first place: I love Sancerre whites. Chad isn’t really into wines, so when we found out that Chavignol (the region of Sancerre we stayed in) is a drive away from some of the legendary castles of Loire Valley, we were excited. Chavignol is also famous for goat’s cheese (as with a lot of wine producing regions, their food specialties, by default, match their wines).

Sancerre

The sleepy town of Chavignol

So, after London, we took a car from Paris and drove through the gorgeous autumn trees into the French countryside, determined to immerse ourselves with wine, history, and nature.

Sancerre Cheese

This seemingly “mom and pop” fromagerie (cheese shop) actually supplies a major supermarket chain in France

We were not disappointed. In my very broken French, we managed to find delectable cheese, cold cuts, bread, and wine from the neighborhood store in the town square (population less than a hundred, Asian population went from zero to two upon our arrival).

The next day, we went to Henri Bourgeois. We tried an impressive number of whites, and even did a comparison between what I’ve written about in the article versus a different vintage… The differences were huge. The one from the old article’s Henri Bourgeois La Bourgeoise 2008 was older, and exhibited mature characteristics (earth, deep forest smells, and a promise of turning into petrol in another year), whereas the 2012 in the shop exhibited citrus fruits and fresh cut grass (younger wine characteristics).

Conclusion: Vintage matters, and older vintages of the same label will reveal aged features.

Henri Bourgeoise

The awesome wines of Henri Bourgeois

Oh, and that my favorite from that day’s selection was the Sancerre D’Antan, which was a heavenly liquid gold that got angels to sing a hallelujah chorus in the background.

Serge Laporte

Monsieur Serge Laporte and his wines

Since it was literally a few steps away, we walked into another wine house, this one owned by the family of Serge Laporte. Monsieur Laporte was a kind gentleman, passionate about his wines and his family, and was nice enough to humor my very basic French. We managed to cross communication barriers through hand gestures and a mutual adoration for the wines of Sancerre. Over a few glasses, we talked about Manila, left hand driving (his son, Guillame, presides over the distribution of their wines and is based in London), and their wines. I had to take home a bottle of their M.A.G.E.S., which was an acronym for “Marylise, Alexandre, Guillame nos enfants, mon épouse Elisabeth, et moi-même Serge” (“Marylise, Alexandre, Guillame our children, my wife Elisabeth, and myself, Serge”). I fell in love with his family (his wife called him to come out and meet us in a manner reminiscent of old-time couples), his stories, and the multi-faceted 100% Sauvignon Blanc that is the M.A.G.E.S. (“mages” also translates to “magi”, as in the three wise men in nativity stories).

mages

Took this baby home with us and loved it!

What is your favorite wine of Sancerre? Santé!

One response »

  1. Pingback: The Year That Was (2shots of 2015) | 2 Shots and a Pint

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