Classic Sancerre: 2012 Apud Sariacum from Raimbault

A second vintage of Philippe Raimbault’s Sancerre Apud Sariacum has arrived at TWH after a lengthy absence while monopolizing a spot on a very popular, wine-centric Los Angeles restaurant list. This L.A. restaurant is known for having an innovative wine-by-the-glass program, rotating in new items every few months or so.  Raimbault’s Sancerre Apud Sariacum remained on this list for nearly 3 years! All of our stock went to fulfill their orders.  When the sommelier called to tell us he was finally going to take the wine off the list in order to keep intact the integrity of their changing list, it was clear he did so reluctantly – probably because his customers were going to put up a stink for not having their beloved Apud Sariacum to enjoy by the glass! A true testament to the quality of the wine and to the wide range of palates that enjoy it. 

Phillippe Raimbault assembles his Sancerre Apud Sariacum from eight tiny parcels grown on steep slopes surrounding the picturesque village of Sury en Vaux, which up until the 12th century was known as Apud Sariacum. The soil here is part of a geological stratum formed during the second era of the Jurassic period. Fossils of sea creatures dating back 130 million years can be found in these vineyards. Phillippe has an impressive collection of these fossils which he proudly displays at his tasting room. These ancient soils really drive home the idea that dirt does matter and as such, Sauvignon Blanc grown along the steep slopes of Loire Valley’s Sancerre region does demonstrate a special quality of depth, weight and, yes, minerality.

The name recognition for Sancerre is far reaching and evokes a certain sophistication among wine drinkers. Even people who say they dislike Sauvignon Blanc will ask for Sancerre at our store. I chalk this up to the fact that most Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t share the verve and citrusy bite that Sancerre shows off in the glass. Grassy, yes, but not assertive or too pungent, just like the 2012 Sancerre Apud Sariacum which is chock full of fragrant citrus, juicy green melon, ending with a nervy, vibrant finish. Refreshing and offering something more than just a crisp drink. The 2012 Sancerre Apud Sariacum is a textbook, classic Sancerre!

Raimbault’s wife Lynne, who is a London transplant, runs a charming shop and wine bar selling Philippe’s wines and local products in town called Les Fossiles. Lynne visited TWH this past November. Regrettably, I was not at the store that day, but all the guys raved about her outgoing personality and easy charm.

So get this … TWH is moving in about a week and I’m going to Disneyland! I am abandoning my comrades to take a very short sojourn this weekend to the happiest place on earth. It probably wasn’t the best timing on my part, but when is it ever? I’ll be back soon enough, hopefully with plenty of stories to share, and ready to help move TWH into its new home. – Anya Balistreri

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