Sauvignon Blanc from Quincy: A French A.O.C. with Women Winemakers at the Helm

Sauvignon Blanc is doing for the white wine market, what Chardonnay did in previous decades, and Pinot Grigio before that. Although the flavor profile of Sauvignon Blanc varies depending on the soil and climate that is unique to each region, method of production and the style of winemaking, the usually crisp, citrus fruit and mineral driven character, balanced acidity, and clean, slightly saline finish typical of most Sauvignon Blancs are what many white wine drinkers are looking for these days.

Sauvignon Blanc is an international white varietal that can be found throughout the world, from California and New Zealand, to British Columbia and South Africa. But if any particular region can be viewed as setting the standard for quality Sauvignon Blanc, it is the Loire Valley in France. And within the Loire Valley, the Quincy A.O.C. might be lesser known than others like Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, but it no less worthy of attention.

Sauvignon Blanc was first planted in Bordeaux where it is usually blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle. Nevertheless, it is the 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc vintages, produced from the limestone rich soils and colder climate of the Loire Valley (growing conditions that allow the late budding and early maturing Sauvignon Blanc grape to thrive), that truly shine.

Quincy received A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée ) status, (a designation that guarantees the source of the grapes grown within Quincy as well as the quality standards of wine production), almost a century ago. Quincy also has a high percentage of female wine makers who have helped to give Quincy a unique wine making identity among its wine producing peers in the Loire Valley.

Sauvignon Blanc is usually aged in stainless steel tanks and customarily meant to be enjoyed young. The high acid content inherent in Sauvignon Blanc grapes also enable them to age well. Some wine makers have produced more full bodied and creamier Sauvignon Blancs with riper fruit flavors that become increasingly complex and concentrated with age. Still the grapefruit and citrus aromas, expressive lemon, lime, summer and orchard fruit notes and bright acidity characteristic of many Sauvignon Blancs that also make them refreshing wine choices for spring and summertime drinking remain the dominant style. When it comes to classic styles of Sauvignon Blanc the eighty year old Quincy A.O.C. is definitely worth exploring for both quality and variety.


A Quincy, Sophie Bertin, 2013 with high acidity, aromas of ripe grapefruit and fresh herbs, and green apple, mineral, tart spice and pear notes, and a Quincy, Domaine Adele Rouze, 2014 with citrus and herbaceous aromas, notes of lemon, grapefruit and mineral, and a slightly saline finish both showcase the zestier side of Sauvignon Blanc. Their freshness and acidic character make them ideal for summer drinking on their own or when paired with raw or simply grilled or baked seafood.


A Quincy, Domaine de la Commanderie, 2014 with lively lime, green apple and pear aromas, and bright and refreshing citrus and orchard fruit notes, and a Quincy, Domaine Sylvain Bailly Beaucharme, 2015 with fresh and crisp citrus, summer fruit and herbal tea aromas, lemon, peach and apricot notes and a balanced mineral finish both have comparably more rounded fruit flavors, and less of a mineral driven character. These two wines pair well with salads, vegetable and seafood pastas in light cream based sauces and grilled or baked poultry or pork in light marinades.

The flavor profiles of the four wines are classic Quincy and reflect the balance of crisp fruit and refreshing minerality that have become the international benchmark for quality Sauvignon Blancs.

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