PRE SEMELE Sancerre (750ml)
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Domaine du Pré Semelé is located in a tiny valley a few miles northwest of the hilltop town of Sancerre. Three generations of the family Raimbault have grown grapes and made wine. Grandfather Maurice worked the vineyards, 3ha, with his brother Camille. Maurice’s sons Claude and Rémy followed suit in 1988 expanding the holdings to 12ha. In 2001 Rémy’s son Julien stepped in as vigneron and the three created a new name, Domaine du Pré Semelé (pronounced pray sem-ill-ay, it is the name of the plot of land on which the winery sits.) Claude retired in 2009 and Remy’s son Clément became the winemaker. Rémy still helps out at the domaine, but it is the new generation that is taking the estate and its wines to the next level . Today Julien and Clément manage the 18 hectares of vines across 45 different parcels, three quarters Sauvignon Blanc and the rest Pinot Noir.
Sancerre is an appellation that lies on an outcrop of chalky Kimmeridgian soils (Terre Blanche) that are known to bring minerality, power and longevity wines. The vineyards of the domaine are 80% Terre Blanche and 20% limestone and clay (called les Caillottes). The Caillotes soils produce wines more elegantly balanced, fruitier and fuller wines for earlier consumption. The vine ages range from 5 to 50 years and are farmed in a sustainable manner (lutte raisonée). Julien uses no insecticides or pesticides in the vineyards. 90% of the vineyard rows are grassed to encourage a natural and healthy environment for the vines.
The Sauvignon Blanc is pressed long and slow. The juice is allowed to settle for 24 hours at a cold temperature. Fermentation is in stainless steel and enamel tanks at low temperatures for 10-15 days. The wine is then occasionally stirred on the lees for three to four months. The wines are lightly filtered prior to bottling.