2019 Matthias & Emile Roblin Sancerre ‘Les Ammonites’, Maimbray, Loire Valley, France

2019 Matthias & Emile Roblin Sancerre ‘Les Ammonites’, Maimbray, Loire Valley, France



The brothers Matthias and Emile Roblin’s vineyards grow on the hillsides of Maimbray and Sury-en-Vaux in the northern sector of Sancerre. This zone is known for its white earth or “terres blanches”, a.k.a., Kimmeridgian Marls—white soils made of clay and marl and stones on top of Kimmeridgian limestone, and make for pointed, powerful wines that need a couple of years in bottle to show best

Ammonites are fossilized nautilus or snails that can be found in the “terres blanches”.  The presence of these fossilized mollusks, including oysters and clams attests to the fact that the ocean covered Sancerre approximately 145 million years ago.  “Les Ammonites” is Roblin’s top cuvée, coming from their best parcels of Terres Blanches.  

Although Roblin is not certified organic, the viticulture closely adheres to all principles and practices.   Winemaking is non-intervention, gentle and minimalistic. The Sauvignon Blanc is sorted before the grapes undergo pneumatic pressing, static settling then typically an indigenous fermentation in neutral-used demi-muids (600-litre barrels) for 4 to 6 weeks with temperatures maintained between 15 and 20°C.  Then the wine rests for twelve months before being racked into steel with its fine lees for another six months.  The finished cuvée is never fined or cold stabilized, and frequently not filtered (depending upon vintage and vat). Production ranges between 400 and 800 cases.

Tasting notes!  Extremely fresh and vibrant with scintillating acidity throughout.  On the palate the wine is displays crisp and underripe green apple, and lime-citrus.  Full-bodied and seamless, but somewhat closed and restrained with the promise of more refined details to follow with time.  This is a young wine requiring some patience to show off it potential.  The following day after sampling was most indicative, as the wine had evolved and could have been easily mistaken for a Grand Cru Chablis, especially regarding the aromatic limestone-minerality and finesse.  Highly recommend a nice cold cellar!


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