Millérioux Sancerre Rouge is a beautiful Pinot Noir from this famous appellation in the Loire Valley. Nicolas Millérioux is part of a contingent of young French vignerons who have traveled enough to see how the world's top appellations are going retrograde - returning to the best lo-fi practices of the past - and has now brought these techniques to his family's vineyards in Sancerre at Domaine Georges Millérioux. Located in the hamlet of Amigny, just west of the village of Sancerre and south of Chavignol, the Millérioux family have worked the land here for three generations, eventually expanding to the 15ha they farm today. Amigny is known for its chalky soils, and 95% of the Millérioux's holdings come from a mix of the classic limestone terroirs of the region: "Caillottes" (a hard, shallow limestone full of stones) and "Terres Blanches" (a softer Kimmeridgian marl). Nico returned to the family domaine in 2008 and immediately stopped using herbicides and began replanting some vines using massale selection, which almost never happens with Sauvignon Blanc. Today, the work in the vineyards is completely organic (with certification coming) and the soils are worked manually. In the cellar, all of the wines are allowed to ferment naturally and extended lees-aging is used to enrich the wines, which allows for minimal sulfur additions only at racking and bottling. Nico's goal is to define how Sancerre might have tasted earlier in the 20th century, before modern vine-clone monotony and industrial practices in the vineyards and cellar, and if his early work is any indication, he will surely be leading the charge as part of Sancerre's new generation.
Enjoy Millérioux Sancerre Rouge over the next 8-10 years with roast pork, grilled salmon, grilled vegetables and aged cheeses.