Antoine Sanzay, 2010 Update

The most delightful discovery of the Salon des Vins de Loire in 2009 was without doubt Antoine Sanzay, a young vigneron turning out stylish and elegant wines from about 11 hectares of vineyards in the Saumur-Champigny appellation. The timing of the discovery seemed particularly apt; his holding includes vines in Les Poyeux, a vineyard which seems to engender a wonderful, silky elegance typical of the very best Champignys. And, as the wines of Clos Rougeard (which also include a Les Poyeux cuvée) become increasingly hard to source, not to mention increasingly expensive, an alternative source of similar wine is naturally very welcome. So it is only natural that when I returned to the Salon des Vins de Loire in 2010 I was determined to make a return visit to Antoine Sanzay (pictured below), to revisit the 2008s and also to grab a first taste of his 2009 vintage.

Antoine Sanzay

The top cuvée here is sourced from old vines in Les Poyeux, although the wine in question was christened L’Expression up to and including the 2007 vintage. From the 2008 vintage it is named for the lieu-dit instead, and this vintage as well as the 2009 were tasted here. The older of these two was just stunning, a wine I tasted last year and clearly underestimated; this year it was beautifully open and aromatic, packed with flavour, and yet still with that elegantly refined structure that marks it out as so superior. Its old ‘expressive’ name would have still been very apt (although I do favour naming wines for their origins if truth be told). The more recent vintage was also sublime, although this is still a youngster, having only just made the move into oak in the past week. Looking at how this ranks against the 2008, and taking into consideration the overall quality found in 2009, I do wonder if I haven’t underestimated this vintage also.

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