2020 Florian Roblin, Côteaux du Giennois “Champ Gibault” Loire Valley, France.
The pretty, aromatic and fairly rich Sauvignon Blanc comes from classic marl, Kimmeridgian limestone and silex soils in the Côteaux du Giennois region of the Loire Valley and it is drinking with varietal character and terroir distinction, showing off racy lemon/lime, white peach, gooseberry and quince fruits, along with wet stones, leesy texture and fine herbal notes. I have enjoyed winemaker Florian Roblin’s wines in the past, especially his unique Champ Gibault Côteaux du Giennois Rouge, which is a blend of 80%Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay, so it was exciting to catch up on his latest release, that is sporting a new label, as seen in the photo above. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc Champ Gibault captures the vintage density and ripeness, making for a more smooth and expressive wine that has impressive mouth feel and length for an all stainless steel raised wine, while maintaining stony and vibrant personality.
Vigneron Florian Roblin’s Champ Gibault parcel, which he planted in 2006, as his importer Floraison Selections in California’s Bay Area explains, enjoys a southern exposure and gentle slope with a soil mix of clay and flint over a chalky base. This is a superb mix, obviously, for producing wines, especially Sauvignon Blanc, with mineral purity, structure, and precision, as the winery notes, which is pretty close in character to the more well known Sancerre region near by. The winemaking is simple and transparent with Roblin fermented with indigenous yeasts, lasting for about one month, after which this Champ Gibault Blanc was then aged on fine lees in the stainless steel tanks for close to seven months. This 2020 is a slightly exotic vintage and the concentration makes it have an extra degree of palate impact, though still poised and fresh in the glass, making it a lovely choice as a starter wine and very nice with a wide range of cuisine choices, though in particular superb with creamy goat cheeses, fleshy white fish and or clam dishes.
($24 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive