2019 Domaine J. de Villebois, Quincy AOC, Loire Valley, France.
The bright and steely 2019 vintage Quincy by Domaine J. De Villebois, 100% Sauvignon Blanc, is pure and stylish stuff, quite a nice surprise and more complex and satisfying than you would expect, it is a of subtle intensity and doesn’t leave you wanting more. Similar in substance and style to Sancerre, this delicately aromatic Quincy delivers fresh layers of lemon/lime, white peach, muskmelon and quince fruits in a light to medium bodied white wine that feels taut and crisp on the zingy palate along with touches of gooseberry, lemongrass and wet stones. This wine comes alive and gains depth when paired with food, especially lighter fare and or classic cheeses, like ripe soft goat cheese, which I tried with it. In my case I had an artisan goat cheese from Cypress Grove, who make the legendary Humbolt Fog, that perfectly matched the wine’s energy and flavors and creating a simple, but divine experience. Interestingly, Quincy was the very first appellation from the Central-Loire to obtain full AOC status, again like Sancerre Blanc, must be all Sauvignon Blanc, though it doesn’t include the single vineyard sites that have given now the much more widely known Sancerre does. That said I have really enjoyed these under the radar wines from Quincy, especially the wines of Adele Rouze, which is my go to from this region, and now these de Villebois versions. This ultra pale straw colored Sauvignon Blanc screams old world charm in the glass and is way better than some mass produced Kiwi examples, or grassy California versions, and provides plenty of refreshment and a real sense of place.
Located in the upper-central area of the Loire Valley, the J. De Villebois, near Touraine, domaine is almost entirely focused on growing Sauvignon Blanc grapes, though they also farm a little bit of Pinot Noir as well here, they have vines in all the key Loire Valley appellations where the Sauvignon Blanc does best, including Sancerre, Touraine, Pouilly-Fumé, Menetou Salon and Quincy, where they grapes for this wine come from. De Villebois follows strict environmental and farming practices, all stages of their wine production are certified sustainable winegrowing by the CSR Vignerons Engages Association, and with great respect to the land in this historic and largely unspoiled and picturesque region of France. The Dutch owners, Joost and Miguela de Willebois embrace their adopted home with passion and admiration of the way of life here, especially the centuries old gastronomic traditions and the natural beauty that surrounds these ancient villages. The couple started J. De Villebois in 2004 by first producing a simple regional Sauvignon Blanc, but now have formed great bonds with growers throughout the more prestigious Crus and have expanded their range over the following years, as well as raising the quality to such levels that their wines are gaining an international following, especially for their top bottlings of Sancerre. The grapes for the Quincy come from limestone soils and to highlight the terroir here the wine was gently crafted with a soft pneumatic pressing and stainless steel fermentation and elevage, which was done on the fine lees and lasted about 6 months before bottling. The Quincy wines are somewhat rare in the states, but offer tons of personality and value with this one being a good way start to exploring this region, I recommend this vintage, but I’m sure the following 2020 and 2021 will be quality efforts as well.
($25 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive