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Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Terre de Maimbray 2005

Pascal & Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Terre de Maimbray 2005A note of sadness this week, prompted by the arrival of this unassuming although elegantly labelled Sancerre on my doorstep. The Reverdy brothers have, for a number of years, run one of leading domaines in Sancerre. Based in Maimbray, a small hamlet to the north of Sancerre, the duo took over the running of the estate in 1993 when their father died, and in recent years they have been busy turning out some benchmark wines, both white and red.

Late in 2007 one of the brothers, Nicolas, was killed at a tragically premature age. I believe that the pair were felling a tree when Nicolas was struck by a falling branch, and he never recovered from the significant injuries he sustained. I am not at all sure that words are sufficient to convey the tragedy of such an event, such a simple accident ending the life of such a young, amiable and talented individual. I offer my condolences to the family, but such an act does little to ease the pain of those left behind.

This wine, the Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Terre de Maimbray 2005, arrived in a case from Cadman Fine Wines. I judged it objectively, concentrating on the first glass, but then drank the rest with pleasure; after all, this is the purpose for which this wine was always intended. It is easy to forget this sometimes; we taste, taste, taste, when we should drink, savour and enjoy. Perhaps such an act is the best way to commemorate the life of the man who, with his brother, made this very wine. In the glass it has a fairly pale hue, nothing out of the ordinary. The nose, though, does offer something quite special; although it carries the fresh, grassy, gooseberry fruit of the Sauvignon Blanc there is also an evident seam of minerality, like gunpowder or powdered rocks. This is a wine of considerable aromatic depth and interest. The palate has a fresh vibrancy that I adore, with a firm weight and presence in the mouth. Through the midpalate it maintains this fresh, mineral acidity and it stays lively to the finish, where it lingers a little while. This is a wine of character which is delicious for drinking now, but which will surely improve over a year or two in the cellar. Excellent. 18/20 (24/3/08)

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