Before I started to write this review, I spent hours looking for a business card I got few years back, when I first met one of Henri Bourgeois’s sons.
Was it Jean-Marie or Arnauld? Unfortunately, I am not sure which one was there to present newest vintages of their wines from Sancerre as well as from New Zealand.
He came with his girlfriend (the same story, no name) – who was introduced to us as a winemaker for their New Zealand project.
But maybe the first names are not so important. What is more important fact to remember is that family Bourgeois wines, from the heart of Sancerre region were always highlights of our company’s French portfolio and I believe, top quality Sancerre wines from the region.
The Bourgeois family has been cultivating vines in the heart of the Sancerre region of France for 10 generations. This region, about 200 km to the south from Paris, is characterized by broken hills along the Loire River.
The main grape varietal here is Sauvignon Blanc (about 80% planted) and Pinot Noir for the red and rose wines.
Domain Bourgeois is located in the village of Chavignol known for its wine (vines here are grown on steep and well-exposed slopes) and also, perhaps even more, for its goat cheese “Crottin de Chavignol”.
Back in 1950, the family only owned two hectares of vineyards, but Henri and his sons increased to 65 hectares, 120 different vineyards, located on some best slopes of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Even an impressive 65 hectares, it provides about half of their needs. Domain Bourgeois has a long term relationship with some best local growers and buys their fruit as well.
The family quickly became one of the most significant wine houses in Sancerre, operating both as a grower and as a négociant, As that wasn’t enough, the youngest generation of Bourgeois family wished to spread their wings even more. 11 years ago Henri’s son chose 109 hectares in Marlborough to continue his wine passion abroad. The first wine of Clos Henri in New Zealand was produced in 2003.
In Sancerre and Loire Valley the family produces many high quality Sauvignon Blancs from different block selections:
La Chantereine Cheverny Blanc
En Travertin Pouilly Fumé
Les Bonnes Bouches Sancerre Blanc
La Chapelle des Augustins Sancerre Blanc
Le MD de Bourgeois Sancerre Blanc
La Demoiselle de Bourgeois Pouilly Fumé
Jadis Sancerre Blanc
D’Antan Sancerre Blanc
Etienne Henri Sancerre Blanc
but also some Cabernet Franc wines in Loire – Le Petit Bourgeois Rouge, Saint-Nicholas de Bourgueil “Les Graviers” , Le Pigeonnier or Le Pigeonnier Vieilles Vignes.
Their Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon blanc comes from the slopes of Loire Valley known as “the Garden of France”. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks that are thermo-regulated, and then matured for months on its lees.
Sauvignon Blanc from Loire Valley to me taste little more delicate than the ones from New Zealand. It doesn’t have the strongly pronounced grapefruitty aroma and flavors up in your face.
Still, I get a beautiful aromatics of refreshing citrus, lemon grass, tropical fruits and green gooseberries, that reminds me of my parents garden.This wine is light, fresh and crisp, with a plenty of fruit characteristics and well balanced acidity. What else is good to know about this wine?
It’s very packet friendly (courtesy of missing the Sancerre appelation by a tiny bit). Just so you know other (exquisite) wines from Sancerre and/or Domaine Bourgeois are much closer to $ 20 -30 price range and over. Well worth it though!
Dry – Off dry- Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: about $ 12.00