• Chablis King in Waiting: Patrick Piuze

    Chablis King in Waiting: Patrick Piuze

    It's overwhelmingly agreed that Raveneau and Dauvissat represent the most crowning achievements in Chablis, but Patrick Piuze is a king-in-waiting. Piuze is a wizard at working with stainless steel and oak to craft Chardonnay from Chablis' fossilized ancient sea bed that delivers the grandeur expected from these top vineyards. Like Raveneau and Dauvissat, it's the regal structure, seamless contours, and definitive cut married to this breadth that places Piuze in elite company.

    Wine critic William Kelley on the vintage:

    "2020 is another excellent vintage at this address, and even if the two years were very different on paper, it might be compared to a more extroverted, open-knit version of the superb 2017 vintage at this address... The resulting wines are elegantly textural but incisive, clearly differentiated by site. This is also the best address to explore the village-level Chablis AOC, as Piuze produces a number of cuvées and lieu-dit bottlings designed to highlight the diversity that this large appellation encompasses."

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Sancerre Royalty: Domaine Vacheron

    Sancerre Royalty: Domaine Vacheron

    A visit to the eastern Loire in May 2016 was a great awakening to the potential and diversity within Sancerre. Styles of winemaking differ nearly as much as the change in soil throughout the region, from flint to marl and Kimmeridgian limestone. But when the tours concluded, it was Vacheron's duo of sites that stuck with me.

    Vacheron's epic south-facing slopes of old vines immediately felt special when we hit the rocky terrain. In a marginal climate, where every last ray of sunlight counts, these Sauvignon Blancs have a generous cut and rigor. They develop faint notes of honey, ginger, and orchard fruit while maintaining a disciplined frame and finish with loads of crushed rocks and salinity.

    It's rare in Sancerre to farm organically, as the weather can be brutal and uncooperative. Less than ten producers are certified organic including Vacheron (since 2000). In the cellar, they've transitioned to larger vessels such as foudre to ensure the wines are taut and structured, as temperatures in the region continue to climb. The wines ferment spontaneously with native yeasts, and the lunar cycle dictates when bottling occurs. No fining or filtering!

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Next Gen in Chablis: 2020 Eleni et Edouard Vocoret

    Next Gen in Chablis: 2020 Eleni et Edouard Vocoret

    Eleni and Edouard Vocoret are among the latest producers you should know in Chablis (Not to be confused with Vocoret & Fils, overseen by Edouard's father). With guidance from family and neighbors, including Vincent Dauvissat, the wines from this young domaine already show true distinction.

    Today's offering includes two cuvées: En Boucheran sits between 1er Crus Vaillons and Montmains, and Bas de Chapelot (A new addition for us) is just below 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre. These wines came onto our radar two years ago and continue to wow us. Pristine fruit, salinity, and bright acidity abide by Chablis. However, a distinct seashell minerality seems to be the calling card here, and élevage in old oak barrels gives the wines a softness that almost feels luminescent.

    Eleni and Edouard met while working harvest in New Zealand. In 2012, Edouard’s family gave the newlyweds their own five hectares of vines to tend to as they saw fit. They sold off the fruit for the first several years while tailoring the vineyard, then produced their first vintages in a family member’s garage. Formerly, Eleni worked as Vincent Dauvissat’s assistant winemaker, where she adopted much of his farming techniques, and Edouard apprenticed in Pouilly-Fuissé. This up-and-coming domaine should be followed closely!

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    Posted by Sydney Love
  • Seamless Sancerre: 2019 Vincent Gaudry

    Seamless Sancerre: 2019 Vincent Gaudry

    Sancerre is famous for simple, crisp, and chuggable whites reliant on its iconic name, but the value realm of the region still has alternatives. Vincent Gaudry is a part of a select group of Sancerre vignerons who employ organic and biodynamic farming. He began this "radical" shift into organics in 1993 and fulfilled the rigorous Demeter certification for biodynamics in 2004.

    Le Tournebride may be Gaudry's introductory bottle, but it's always my favorite. Tournebride comes from old vines planted in the appellation's three main soil types: Silex, terres blanches, and caillottes. Mélodie de Vieilles Vignes comes from 50-to-90-year-old vines on Kimmeridgian clay soils over limestone bedrock in Sury-en-Vaux. There's a remarkable refinement in detail, with the fruit displayed in the purest and most unadulterated fashion.

    Gaudry's wines remind me of the sensibilities found in Burgundy where a sense of place almost overrides Sauvignon Blanc's characteristics. These Sancerres continue to over-deliver vintage after vintage!

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    Posted by Max Kogod