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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Jean Paul Balland Sancerre Grande Cuvéetext
93POINTS
17¼/20

Jean Paul Balland Sancerre Grande Cuvée 2018

Sancerre, Upper Loire, Loire, FranceThis pours a soft gold colour in the glass, with glints of brassy green reflecting youth and northern provenance. The aromas pressage a thrilling wine: ripe, full, rich, and buttery, with acacia, apple danish, honeysuckle, hazelnut pralines, and very ripe pear. Given that this wine is made from sauvignon blanc, it’s quite unexpected. Creamy and deeply fruited, but also with fragrant minerals and the barest hint of oak, this is far outside the normal Sancerre canon. Sauvignon blanc’s varietal character shows far more recognizably in the mouth, with succulent acidity, candied grapefruit, and gooseberry jam, with spirity herbs, like having a sip of green Chartreuse. The oak is subtle and sits serenely amongst lush fruit, adding spice to the fresh herbs and warming alcohol. This is very special and singular Sancerre, unusually oaked and built to age. Jean-Paul Balland is a small estate in the eastern reaches of the Loire Valley. This comes from a tiny parcel of 45 year old vines, vinified in 600 litre oak casks, wildly fermented, and blended with a little fruit fermented in steel. Lees ageing adds a touch of smoke and pastry, and wafts in and out of a long minerally finish. It’s not at all oaky, but rather opulent, complex, and layered, and a magnificent food pairing for halibut with either bacon or beurre blanc. Serve it lightly chilled so its multifacets are not numbed.Tasted: 23 June 2021Tasted by: DJ KearneyPrices: BC 43.99 BCLS Producer: Jean Paul BallandDistributors: The Delf Group
Grape: Sauvignon BlancCSPC: 417014UPC: 00747389000022