Loire Valley (Part Three) – Winter 2019
Henri Bourgeois 17 Sancerre Blanc “Les Baronnes,” Benchmark cuvée of the family, fresh, nuanced, citrus, engaging.Henri Bourgeois 16 Sancerre Blanc “La Cote Des Monts Damnes,” Classic Monts Damnes, everything there, from the highest plots on the hill. Naked, no wood.Henri Bourgeois 15 Sancerre Blanc “La Bourgeoise,” The monks of Saint-Satur first worked this site, and these are some of the oldest vines in the estate, singular stuff, flinty, touch of wood influence evident but integrated.Henri Bourgeois 15 Sancerre Blanc “Jadis,” Kimmeridgian marl soil, organic, old barrels, charm, powerful.Henri Bourgeois 15 Sancerre Blanc “Les Cotes Aux Valets,” From the best “chalky clay” plot on the estate, in Vinon, tiny plot. Round, long, bravoHenri Bourgeois 15 Sancerre Blanc “Le Cotelin,” single vineyard marl based plot in Maimbray, long, structuredHenri Bourgeois 15 Sancerre Blanc “Les Ruchons,” flintiest plot in the appellation, in the village of Saint-Satur, old vines, mineral intensity, Frank talked about this one the rest of the week.Henri Bourgeois 18 Sancerre Rose “Jeunes Vignes (tank sample),” Young vine Sancerre Rosé – Fun idea, and it delivers. Strawberries, pepper, yum. Love the pricing too.Henri Bourgeois 17 Sancerre Rouge “Les Baronnes,” Typical, red fruits, cherries, medium body, what you want in Sancerre RougeHenri Bourgeois 15 Sancerre Rouge “La Bourgeoise,” Memorable stuff from some really old Pinot vines on SW facing flinty slopes. Totally developed. Magnificent.
Domaine Gerard Fiou
wines is something to take notice of. Young Florent Bourgeois is literally pouring his heart into the property and splits his days between vineyard work and winemaking. Fiou comes as a nice complement to us at Grape as all of their Sancerre Blanc is planted on Silex soil and is intensely flinty, yet reasonably affordable for Monday night usage. We spent some time in the bistro talking about the 2018 vintage with Florent while eating braised veal face (something that, as long as you aren’t vegetarian, you must try with Fiou’s incoming liquid mineral 2015 “Le Grand Roc” bottling).
Domaine Gerard Fiou 18 Sancerre Blanc. fresh, juicy, some flint, very nice.Domaine Gerard Fiou 15 Sancerre Blanc “Le Grand Roc,” broad, big structure, layers of mineral, wow.Domaine Gerard Fiou 16 Sancerre Rouge, fresh fruit, spice, a bit disjointed right now but we look forward to seeing this develop.
Domaine Pierre Riffault
Pierre Riffault 18 Sancerre Blanc (tank), ripe, rich, full, mineral, good acidity. Will be bottled 4/19Pierre Riffault 17 Sancerre Blanc, tasty, but low acidity as is typical with these 17’sPierre Riffault 18 Sancerre Rosé (tank), rich and fresh, just 100 cases avail though which is sadPierre Riffault 18 Sancerre Rouge (tank), concentrated, tannic, very good, a pallet availPierre Riffault 17 Sancerre Rouge, lighter, but quite good, a pallet avail.Pierre Riffault 15 Sancerre Blanc “Croix de Chambre,” from limestone in Verdigny, ample, structured, aged in wood and bottle. Confirming price/availability and hoping for access to a bit
Neutral barrel fermented old vine Sauvignon from the 2015 vintage was becoming a theme on this trip, and we will take what people offer up! Mark your “new Riffault” calendars for June, just in time for Sockeye Salmon!
Domaine Gilles Lesimple
Domaine Gilles Lesimple 18 Sancerre Blanc. Fresh, juicy, balanced, very nice.