Sauvignon de St. Bris, 1983. Hugues Goisot | Vintage Wine History and Information

by Paul Kalemkiarian Sr | February 1985

Gerard Antoine, an importer and California wine distributor was on his 1983 buying trip in Burgundy, when he stopped in the village of St. Bris for lunch. The restaurant was called “Les Rosiers”. (…great local food… he says.) He asked the owners what local wine they recommended. They served him our import selection of this month, except of a previous vintage. He was so impressed with the quality and the price, that he asked for directions to the winery. After lunch, he visited Monsieur Hugues Goisot and struck a bargain for representing him in California.

Gerard has a good palate. He Was born into a wine family in the Loire. His mother is winemaker at Chateau Cheman. (see May 1984 selection). Despite the wines “secondary classification”, he knew he could sell it on taste since it was (and is) that good.

“Secondary Classification”… you say with raised eyebrow! What’s wrong?

Here are the facts: Most top wines of France bear the best classification of “Appellation de Origin Controlle”. It denotes that the wine complies with the standards set by the authorities for that region. Only certain grapes, from certain regions, and specific harvest and fermentation standards are required. If the wines made from these grapes do not meet these standards, they get declassified to VDQS wines or “Vin Delimite de Qualite Superieure”. This secondary classification also is the highest a wine can achieve if it is made from grapes not typical for that area. The wine car be great, but it still is VDQS as far as the authorities go. Wine that does not even qualify for the latter ends up “Vin de table”!

So, Monsieur Hugues Goisot’s wine is really in the Chablis region, and if his wine was from the chardonnay grape, it could be an ACC wine. Instead he has to be satisfied with VMS because he has the “wrong” grape. Who cares! His wine is great, and he does not seem to have a problem selling it!

Monsieur Hugues Goisot has the most sophisticated modern equipment in the village. With his brother and son, they tend to their old Sauvignon Blanc vines in this famous white Burgundy region of Chablis. In his spare time he is a prud’homme in his region. (Chairman of the Conciliation Board).

Sauvignon Blanc is the white grape of Bordeaux, Sancerre, and Pouilly. Each of these areas produces distinct wines from this grape. The Sauvignon de St. Bris tends more towards the Sancerre style, but fruitier and zestier. In fact it is interesting that the label from France reads “Vin Fruite” as a descriptive style for the French market. (notice they misspelled Culver City, CA.!).

Our wine is deep golden in color. The aroma is distinctly fruity and fresh, with emerging vanillin oak in the background. Clean, with varietal character of Sauvignon Blanc evident. The taste is explodes with flavor. It has big extractive, with dominant varietal taste that is not grassy. It is full bodied. The balance is perfect. This contributes to its smoothness that exemplifies the entire taste, which follows the nose beautifully. It has an intense, long finish. Serve chilled with halibut or salmon entrees, or as an aperitif wine.

Cellaring Notes: Best consumed during the next 3 years.

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