I spent much of Thursday, all of Friday and small part of Saturday morning in Sancerre and Pouilly visiting as many producers as possible. I tasted juice and fermenting wine with a number of the producers – all seemed clean with no off flavours.
Stephane Riffault – Domaine Claude Riffault
Jean-Marie Bourgeois, Domaine Henri Bourgeois
Tasted the 2011 fermenting wines with Jean-Marie on Friday. We went through much of the range from the Petit Bourgeois, their vin de pays launched back in 1995 (Sauvignon only at that time – a red followed later) through to MD and La Bourgeoise. As with Fouassier and Michael Vattan all the wines were clean and precise with differences between the parcels becoming apparent.
"The secret of our Le Petit Bourgeois is that we always work with the same producers, who are serious, and we pay above the market price." We tasted two examples of 2011 PB – one from Faverolles-sur-Cher and one from Choussy, which is close to Oisly.
After a swift look round some of the vineyards we tasted the recently bottled 2010s – joined by Jean-Dominique Vacheron. Their range of single vineyard bottlings has been extended: Le Paradis (calcaire – caillottes), Chambrates (calcaire - thin soil), Guigné-Chèvres (Oxfordian limestone), Les Romains (silex - flint) and Pavé (argile-calcaire – clay limestone). At this stage my preferences among the 2010 was for Paradis, Guigné-Chèvres and Romains.
We also tasted the 2010 red Sancerre – attractive pure Pinot fruit – and the 2008 and 2007 La Belle Dame. The 2007 BD is drinking well now, while the 2008 needs time but has greater potential than the previous year.
Claude and Laurent Champault