2009 Les Godons From Philippe Raimbault

Loire Valley wines are on fire here at the store and, in particular, Sancerre continues to captivate and delight the public’s palate. Yes, it’s just Sauvignon Blanc, but what Sauvignon Blanc it is. You want attack, verve, raciness, bright snappy fruit, to name a few criteria; then you want Sancerre. We now import two producers of Sancerre. You’d think one would be sufficient, but since not all Sancerre taste the same, the range of options sits well with our clientele (and staff!). In fact we used to bring in only one cuvee of Sancerre from Philippe Raimbault, the Apud Sariacum, but each time we tasted the Les Godons alongside it, we suffered over which to import until someone brilliantly suggested importing both. Indeed, why not two cuvees? Makes sense given how different the wines are from one another.
Acquired by the Raimbault family in 1946, Les Godons is a steeply sloped vineyard described as forming a natural amphitheatre helping to protect the vines from wind and creating a unique microclimate. A one man operation (though I understand his mother takes care of the paperwork), Philippe Raimbault comes from a long line of vignerons dating back a couple of hundred years, so you could say wine is in his blood. I get a kick out how his representative in France affectionately and matter-of-factly says of Philippe that he is “just a good grower with a lot of care on details”. No fanfare, no celebrity status, just someone who makes the best wine possible. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Philippe, but if the theory holds that dogs look like their owners and wines reflect their makers, I’m confident I’d get on just fine with Monsieur Raimbault.
Never having visited the Loire, my relationship to Sancerre is based primarily on its magical ability to pair well with food. And as summer’s bounty heats up, Sancerre takes a more prominent spot in my culinary and vinous arsenal. Just last night a couple of zucchini fritters and a side of cut-up tomatoes with chervil and cress were elevated to something teetering on inspired by a glass of chilled 2009 Les Godons. The 2009 Loire vintage is being heralded as a great success and for those who follow these things, is ripe like the ’03s with the structure and snap of the ’05s. Les Godons typically is devoid of herbal or grassy notes and leans toward flavors of ripe citrus and melon. The ripeness of the ’09 vintage really brings forth the melon notes, like a bite of Crenshaw that takes with it a bit of the green rind. The nose is super expressive, displaying melon, lemon cream and unripe peach. Next time, I intend to pair the 2009 Les Godons with a zucchini stuffed with lamb, pine nuts and a crumble of goat cheese. Now that is gonna be epic! I’ve made it abundantly clear to family and neighbors that I accept overgrown squash and zucchini. At the start of summer, I made a pact with myself to explore the limitless ways you can stuff the vegetable. I marvel at what is seemingly so simple to make, given the freshest of ingredients, can taste so good. I further marvel at how such a dish can reach even higher pleasure points with the accompaniment of an honest, well made glass of vino. After all these years in the biz (this week a colleague referred to me as “an old-timer”!), I still get giddy pairing up something special in the glass with something homemade on the plate. – Anya Balistreri

1 Comment

Filed under Anya Balistreri, French Wine, Sancerre

One response to “2009 Les Godons From Philippe Raimbault

  1. What a lovely article! My husband Philippe is so pleased, and hope you continue to love our wines!
    best wishes
    Lynne Raimbault

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