Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
Country, Region: France, Loire Valley
A new single vineyard cuvée since 2015. The lieu-dit of Le Château sits on a south facing slope above Bué and the domaine’s plot was planted in 1971 and 1972. Here the soil is Kimmeridgian marl (limestone and clay), which is a bit of a rarity in Bué, where most of the terroir is the more gravelly Oxfordian limestone. The fruit is hand-picked, hand-sorted and then whole-bunch pressed to 600 litre demi-muids for fermentation, followed by 9 months maturation on fine lees. A stunning wine of notable intensity and complexity which benefits from decanting and the finest stemware. Served blind this will challenge and more than compete in a line-up of fine white Burgundies. A very substantial wine with great energy and the structure to age effortlessly.
'From a small parcel planted on Kimmeridgian soils in 1968, the 2020 Sancerre Le Chateau is a powerful and structured Sancerre with plentiful welcome flesh. You can expect a high level of concentration reflecting the restricted yields, and the flavours are reminiscent of ripe apples, nectarines, floral notes and a pastry-like character on the finish. If I am being super picky, I’d like a little more tension through the wines core, but this was a warm season, and it is still an excellent wine. Drink 2023-2036.' 94 points, Rebecca Gibb M.W., Vinous Media, July 2022.
'Brothers Clement and Florent Pinard are the 15th generation (or so they think – they wouldn’t stake their lives on it) to run the family domaine in the village of Bué. They’re young and dynamic and obtained biodynamic certification in 2017. The Pinards have created their own yeast starter and are restrained in their use of sulfur. They are often one of the first in the village to harvest, which they put down to farming the vineyard organically for more than 15 years. In recent warm vintages (2018, 2019 and 2020), they have achieved harmony when others have struggled. The domaine has an enviable list of the top sites in the appellation including both the Petit and Grand Chemarin vineyards and Le Chêne Marchand (all on caillottes soils), as well as a wealth of older vines; even its entry-level Florès is produced from 35-year-old plantings. Balance, harmony and elegance are common threads that weave across the range. Large format barrels are employed in varying proportions for all of its cuvées except for Florès, while lees aging builds appetizing texture. One of my go-to Sancerre producers.' Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous, August 2021.