- WinemakerNicolas Girard
Alain Girard & Fils L'indiscrete Rouge 2020
Sancerre Rouge, which was granted AOC status in 1959, is full of surprises. With most of the red never leaving France, we’re thrilled to have such a rare and delicate wine at such a tasty price! You all loved last year’s vintage – and this one is even better!
L'indiscrete is BACK! Sancerre Rouge is pinot noir, grown in the cool, flint, chalk, and silex of the Loire Valley. We can never get enough regular Sancerre as it is, but Rouge barely ever makes its way to our tasting bar. We love the Girard family’s wines, and they greatly overdeliver – especially today at just $28.95!
The estate was established in 1875 and lies just outside of the town of Sancerre. The Girard family modernized the winery and vineyards when they bought the estate in 1973. Alain Girard comes from several generations of winemakers in the tiny village of Chaudoux, located directly north of the famous town of Chavignol. Alain’s son, Nicolas, has taken over winemaking duties along with his brother, Anthony. Together they are making high-toned wines that are fresh, modern, and aromatically pure.
The 2019 “L'indiscrete” pinot noir is elegant and subtle, as one would expect from Loire Valley pinot noir – but the 2020 vintage has plenty of ripe and full fruits as well. Bright red raspberries, strawberries, and crunchy, red plums – all with a crisp yet balanced acidity. Silky smooth on the approach with Bing cherry, cracked black pepper, sweet pipe tobacco, black tea, and an almost sanguine mineral element. It's delicate but lively, and pleasantly aromatic, with a zippy acidity and low astringency – making for a wonderful food wine that is as versatile as it is easy to drink.
Although sauvignon blanc is the leading varietal in the Sancerre region, approximately 20% of the appellation’s vineyards are planted with pinot noir grapes, the oldest variety in the region – there is evidence it's been planted in the Loire Valley since the Middle Ages. And while the Loire shares much of the same soils as Burgundy, it differs greatly in the weather. With colder nights and warmer days, pinot noir takes on a decidedly spicy edge and possesses more of a black pepper character than Burgundy.
Furthermore, the Girards, like most of Sancerre’s vignerons, follow stricter than usual standards of cellar tidiness and hygiene. It is widely believed to be the influence of local goat cheese makers, traditionally artisanal in scale, by people who knew the importance of a pristine environment. This almost medical level of cleanliness lends itself to an extremely pure iteration of pinot noir that stands among the very best examples of Sancerre Rouge. A fun wine, that you hardcore First Bottlers know very, very well. As we said before, this stuff is RARE! Get some while you still can!
PAIRING IDEAS: Myriad options will work with this wine, from salmon to pork and game meats. Nevertheless, I’m cooking up a favorite with this wine...Chicken with Morels. The freshness of the wine perfectly balances the rich, creamy, and earthy sauce.