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The Loire river flows some thousand miles from its source in springs on Mont Gerbier de Jonc in the Ardèche, northward through Orléans, then westward across the center of France through Tours and on to the Atlantic Ocean. The Loire Valley is known as "the garden of France" and is home to some of the most prized of vineyards on the planet for Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, then closer to the Atlantic, the Melon de Bourgogne of Muscadet.

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2013 Sancerre Les Godons Philippe RAIMBAULT  
2013 Sancerre Les Godons Philippe RAIMBAULT

The vineyard of Les Godons forms a natural ampitheatre with steep sides, protected from the wind and well-exposed to the sunlight. Formerly the property of Château de la Bucède, it was purchased by Lucien Raimbault, grandfather of Philippe, in 1946. The underground cellars of Domaine Philippe Raimbault are located at the foot of this slope in the village of Sury-en-Vaux. Philippe Raimbault points out that the soils of Sancerre are part of a geological stratum formed during the secondary era of the Jurassic period and that fossils of sea creatures more than 130 million years old are still discovered in the vineyards here. This expression of Sauvignon Blanc could only come from Sancerre. discreet Sauvignon aromas that suggest a certain pinnacle of ripeness, hints of limestone underpinning with suggestion of gooseberry, vanilla cream, orange zest; power and restraint, power and restraint; nervy Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc to be sure, but with a richness and suavity that seems to come 'round only in these modern vintages. Nonetheless, super for crisp refreshing summertime white wine, but with an extra dimension of richness and roundness that would take on slightly richer preparations of river fish and poultry.

$22.50 the bottle  $229.56 the case

2015 Sancerre La Crêle Thomas et Fils

Jean & Ginette Thomas craft among our most favorite of the wines of Sancerre. Lovely, limpid, pale straw in color; fresh Sauvignon Blanc aromas that suggest perfectly ripe fruit harvested at its apogee of flavor and potency with suggestion of ripe melon, citrus and fine wildflower honey on a backdrop of cool rainwater on crumbled limestone; crisp and compelling on the tongue, with an almost palpable vibrant interplay of fruit and acidity; lots and lots of clean, delicious Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc flavor that just lasts and lasts and refreshes and refreshes. Splendid value at its regular price of $22.50 the bottle, on sale now at 25% off:

$16.88 the bottle (that's $202.56 the case)

2016 Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine sur Lie Domaine de La Quilla

Produced from some 25 hectares of vines owned by Gérard and Daniel Vinet, located in the village of La Haye-Fouassière near Nantes, within the département of the Loire-Atlantique and within the region known as Sèvre et Maine, an area that lies between these two tributaries that flow northward to the river Loire. The wine is produced entirely from the Mélon de Bourgogne grape, also known as Muscadet. The fruit is hand-harvested, generally beginning in early September. The wine is kept on its lees and bottled in the spring following harvest. Ultra fresh, cool aromas suggest fresh green grapes grown on the mineral soils of schists, mica schists, gneiss and metamorphic amphibolites and under the influence of the nearby Atlantic Ocean; lively, almost pétillant on the tongue, with a most refreshing crisp almost crunchy saline mineral intensity of flavor. An ideal companion to shellfish and most all lighter fare that calls for dry white wine. And all at a price that, in our estimation, places this among the very best values of them all in dry white wine.

$11.99 the bottle $122.28 the case

512 West Sixth Street Austin, Texas 78701-2806 USA
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