ABOUT THIS WINE
Ammonites are fossilized nautilus or snails that can be found in the “terres blanches”. The presence of these fossilized mollusks, including oysters and clams attests to the fact that the ocean covered Sancerre approximately 145 million years ago. “Les Ammonites” is Roblin’s top cuvée, coming from their best parcels of Terres Blanches.
Although Roblin is not certified organic, the viticulture closely adheres to all principles and practices. Winemaking is non-intervention, gentle and minimalistic. The Sauvignon Blanc is sorted before the grapes undergo pneumatic pressing, static settling then typically an indigenous fermentation in neutral-used demi-muids (600-litre barrels) for 4 to 6 weeks with temperatures maintained between 15 and 20°C. Then the wine rests for twelve months before being racked into steel with its fine lees for another six months. The finished cuvée is never fined or cold stabilized, and frequently not filtered (depending upon vintage and vat). Production ranges between 400 and 800 cases.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Matthias Roblin’s first commercial vintage was 2000 and of that debut the English magazine Decanter wrote: "Searing concentration of lime and elderflower fruit with refreshing acids. Long and even with a steely mineral character. Fine."
The magazine went on to select Matthias’ 2003 Sancerre as the best white table wine to come out of the Loire in 2005 (World Wine Awards, October, 2005). Given the torrid heat of that endless summer, one in which making a fresh wine was all but impossible, this was quite the honor. Decanter then profiled Matthias in its September 2006 issue, naming him among five new faces to watch in the Sancerre appellation.
In 2006 his younger brother, Emile, joined him, and now these two work alongside their father (he's in the middle of the photograph on this page; Matthias is on the right with glasses; Emile is on the left), who, with their uncle, used to manage the production at Chateau de Maimbray until 2010 when those two brothers retired.
Matthias and Emile’s vines grow on the hillsides of Maimbray and Sury-en-Vaux in the northern sector of Sancerre. This zone is known for its terres blanches or Kimmeridgian Marls—white soils made of clay and marl and stones on top of Kimmeridgian limestone, and make for pointed, powerful wines that need a couple of years in bottle to show best (and indeed have the potential to age surprisingly well, but almost never are permitted to do so). The brothers have 14 hectares (35 acres) in Sauvignon Blanc and 2.5 (6 acres) in Pinot Noir.