Situated within the tiny commune of Bué, just a few kilometers from the town of Sancerre, this Domaine is one of the finest producers in the region. Having taken over the estate in 1998, François and his wife Carine work 10.5 hectares of vines and produce small amounts of wine, always showing the greatest respect to the soil and selection of only the very best fruit come harvest time.
Today we release the next instalment of our exciting journey into the Loire Valley. An unapologetic perfectionist because of how passionate he is, François Crochet first made a name for himself on home soil before the rest of the fine wine world caught on. His handcrafted wines are made in limited volumes, so we are very fortunate to have been able to get onto François’ allocation list (in fact, if not for our very own Charlotte Dagueneau, this addition to our portfolio is unlikely to have materialised).
Yes, Sancerre is made from Sauvignon Blanc alone, but the wine has nothing in common with the luridly scented, evanescent and frequently mawkish white wines often sold under this grape-variety badge.
If you haven’t seen the wine’s label, you might even think it was Chablis (which is made from Chardonnay alone, and not Sauvignon Blanc). This is exactly as it should be. Sancerre and Chablis are barely more than 100km from each other, so what you are tasting is white wine made from slowly ripened white grapes on low hills in France’s cool heart. The fact that both regions share a type of limestone-based soil derived from sediments laid down between 157 and 152 million years ago (and named after the Dorset village of Kimmeridge) may further accentuate similarities.
Andrew Jefford for FT Magazine | In praise of fresh, flavourful Sancerre
Sancerre lies on the left bank of the Loire River and is positioned opposite to another well-known Sauvignon blanc appellation, Pouilly-Fumé. The cool, continental climate of Sancerre is perfect for retaining the grapes’ natural acidity during the growing season. Broadly speaking, there are three different soil types to be found here: “caillottes” (pure limestone), “terres blanches” (clay-limestone) and “silex” (flint).
François Crochet 6-bottle case
*Price is per 6-bottle mixed case and incl. VAT
Sancerre blanc 2019 (x 3 bottles)
The straight Sancerre blanc is a vineyard blend that showcases the diversity of aspects, steepness of sites and soil compositions. The majority of the blend is comprised of each of the vineyards that are bottled as single-site wines. This cuvée is fermented and aged exclusively in stainless steel.
Sancerre blanc “Les Amoureuses” 2019 (x 1 bottle)
“Les Amoureuses” is made up of three different sites within Bué with heavier clay topsoil than any other parcels that Crochet farms. There is wonderful concentration in this wine which makes it Crochet’s most popular. It’s fermented in stainless steel vats and then aged in a large, old 20-liter French oak vat.
Sancerre blanc “Exils” 2019 (x 1 bottle)
An anagram for “Silex”, the “Exils” cuvée is named after the hard, flintstones that completely cover this vineyard, which is situated next to a forest, at the top of a south-facing hill on the south side of Sancerre, near the Loire River. This flintstone, formed long before Fred and Barny existed, tens of millions of years ago. The reason for the anagram is that this vineyard is the furthest away for Crochet – so in some ways an outlier for him.
Sancerre blanc “Le Grand Chemarin” 2018 (x 1 bottle)
Located in the heart of Bué, Le Grand Chemarin is a south-facing vineyard planted on limestone-rich soil. This is a wonderfully energetic and layered wine.