Visiting the Centre
Loire, on the trail of great Sauvignon, part 3
Pascal and Chanel Gitton
had a great visit with Pascal Gitton and his daughter Chanel.
Pascal's wife Denise is Australian, so the family speak pretty good
English! We spent quite a while chatting and tasting in their
winery, based in Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre, which was founded in 1945
by Huguette and Marcel Gitton.
Pascal's grandfather started off which just half a hectare, on his
wife's side of the family, and little by little he bought more
vineyards. Pascal's father then focused on developing the business
side as well as continuing to add vineyards.
They now have 27 hectares in Sancerre (of which 4 are Pinot Noir),
and another 6 hectares in Coteaux du Giennois and Pouilly-Fumé. Most
of these are hand harvested, but a small portion are machine
harvested. The Sauvignon from flint is fermented in 600 litre
barrels, while that from the chalk is fermented in stainless steel.
Vineyards are kept separate through the winemaking process.
These wines were full of interest, and the real surprise was how
good some of the older bottles were. This was a visit that went
Domaine Gitton Sancerre Les Montachins 2014 Loire, France
Subtle waxy, stony notes on the nose alongside some taut
citrus fruit. Savoury, mineral and taut on the palate with some
stoniness. This has an interesting savoury core to it. Nice acidity
and focus. 90/100
Domaine Gitton Sancerre Les Montachins 1996 Loire, France
Lovely freshness here: wax, citrus, pear and green apples.
Powerful and spicy with some nice waxy notes. Very supple with
lovely smooth development. Crystalline and fine with nice green
hints. Pure. 95/100
Domaine Gitton Sancerre Les Belles Dames 2014 Loire, France
This is now Gitton's largest vineyard parcel, on flint
soils. Pascal Gitton's grandfather went to the conveyancer 80 times
in order to get his entire holding in this vineyard, because people
were selling tiny plots of land: they weren't interested in flinty
soils at the time because they were too hard to plough, and the
wines needed to be kept longer because they took longer to express
their aromas. 600 litre barrels. Stony and lively with mineral
citrus fruit and some lovely cabbage and grapefruit highlights. Nice
green hints here. Has good acidity. 91/100
Domaine Gitton Sancerre Les Belles Dames 1990 Loire, France
Pure and fine with stony, mineral notes. Lovely freshness
and purity here with fine citrus fruit. So linear and fine with an
amazing mineral dimension. Pristine. 95/100
Domaine Gitton Sancerre Les Herses 2014 Loire, France
Silex. Distinctive, stony, waxy and intense with fine
herbs, grapefruit, a hint of cabbage and lovely stony, mineral
notes. Lovely precision here with keen acidity and deliciously
integrated green notes alongside the pure citrus fruit. Long lemony
Domaine Gitton Sancerre Les Romains 2015 Loire, France
Flint with chalk underneath. There's concentration and
freshness here with nice mineral undertones and bold citrus fruit,
as well as a bit of pear richness. Lovely ripe, expressive fruit.
Domaine Gitton Sancerre L'Amiral 2014 Loire, France
Chalky soils. Linear, fresh and direct with linear citrus
fruit. Direct with good acidity and linear citrus fruit. Pure.
Domaine Gitton Sancerre X-Elis Sauvignon 2012 Loire, France
Silex back to front. Powerful, rich and textural with a
linear, mineral character, as well as concentrated pear and citrus
fruit. There's some richness here, but also lovely precision. Great
concentration and weight, but it's not heavy. 93/100
Domaine Gitton Sancerre La Vigne du Larrey Monopole 2014
Distinctive, nutty, spicy nose.
Concentrated and powerful with intense, mineral, spicy citrus fruits
with lovely texture. Rich and bold, but perfectly balanced with pear
and white peach, along with citrus. This is superb. 94/100
Domaine Gitton Sancerre La Vigne du Larrey Monopole 2012
Chalky soil with iron ore in it. Powerful
and spicy with nutty and waxy notes. Rich and intense with warmth
and depth. Ripe apples, spice and some tangerine/marmalade. A bold,
interesting wine with nice depth. Mineral and distinctive. 92/100
Domaine Gitton Sancerre La Vigne du Larrey Monopole 1992
Some oxidative character with toffee notes
and marmalade, spices and citrus. Honeyed and rounded with nice
Domaine Gitton Clos Joane D'Orion Pouilly-Fumé 2014 Loire,
Powerful with some fig and quince characters. Has
greenness and brightness with fresh acidity. Nice citrus core.
Domaine Gitton Sauvignon Blanc de la Vigne du Taureau 2014
Coteaux du Giennois
Linear and fresh with crisp,
green-tinged citrus fruit. Fresh and stony with nice greenness.
Domaine Gitton Sancerre La Galinot 2009 Loire, France
Silex soils. Made in Croation oak foudre. Complex, ripe and
textured with lovely pear and yellow plum fruit, with some nice
spiciness. Crystalline and rich but with some spicy minerality.
Lovely definition here. 94/100 (26 Euro retail)
Domaine Gitton Sancerre La Galinot 1992 Loire, France
Complex and nutty with a mushroom note on the nose, but the
palate is really good with nice linear marmalade and citrus notes.
Nice acidity here: finishes fresh. 93/100
UK agent is Carte Blanche
THE CENTRE LOIRE
1, Henri Bourgeois
3, Domaine Gitton
5, Denis Jamain
6, Domaines Tatin
7, Philippe Gilbert
8, Domaine Teiller
9, Michel Thomas et Fils
10, Michel Redde et Fils
11, Sylvie et Joël Cirotte
12, Jean-Max Roger
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