Sancerre - a quick guide to the vintages

2019: A warm year resulting in full-bodied, rich wines, drinking well now with the structure to carry on

2020: You’ll find richness twinned with precision here, good ageing potential

2021: A throwback to the cooler vintages of the previous era, herbaceous and incisive. There’s a certain fragility to the wines at communal level, and a remarkable finesse to the best single vineyard efforts

2022: A joy already, with plenty in the tank to go the distance. There’s an inviting tenderness to the fruit

Domaine Paul Prieur et Fils

Verdigny

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Luc Prieur is a young grower to watch in Sancerre. His ambition and talent are easy to see in the wines, but inspite of his soaring reputation, he remains refreshingly down-to-earth. It's been a pleasure to follow his journey and to now see the critical acclaim his wines enjoy.

 

2022 Sancerre Blanc, Domaine Paul Prieur et Fils Dry | White | Still | 13%

We've loved Luc Prieur's Sancerre Blanc for years: it's one of our best-sellers from the Loire, and keeps pace with far pricier wines from other regions. It offered balance, purity and complexity, and has a remarklable ability to age. 2022 sits in contrast to 2021, and sees the style return to a more modern classical character, where the warm growing season has taken the spiky edges off the Sauvignon Blanc, but where tension and chalky intensity remain the driving force of the wine, thanks to the wonderful Kimmeridgean limestone of the appellation. It comes from various parcels dotted around the village of Verdigny and is a blend of the three major soil types found in the region: caillottes, silex and terres blanches. It is an exceptionally terroir-driven Sancerre from one of the finest young talents in the region.

Young: 2024 - 2035
2022 Sancerre Blanc, Domaine Paul Prieur et Fils Dry | White | Still | 13%

We've loved Luc Prieur's Sancerre Blanc for years: it's one of our best-sellers from the Loire, and keeps pace with far pricier wines from other regions. It offered balance, purity and complexity, and has a remarklable ability to age. 2022 sits in contrast to 2021, and sees the style return to a more modern classical character, where the warm growing season has taken the spiky edges off the Sauvignon Blanc, but where tension and chalky intensity remain the driving force of the wine, thanks to the wonderful Kimmeridgean limestone of the appellation. It comes from various parcels dotted around the village of Verdigny and is a blend of the three major soil types found in the region: caillottes, silex and terres blanches. It is an exceptionally terroir-driven Sancerre from one of the finest young talents in the region.

Ready: 2024 - 2036
2021 Sancerre Pieuchaud Silex, Domaine Paul Prieur et Fils Dry | White | Still | 13%

This is bursting with bergamot freshness. As always, Luc says it showed the best balance between acidity and pH in the cellar, meaning the wine tastes vibrant and fresh without being overly bracing and acidic. Pieuchaud is a flinty-soiled lieu-dit in the commune of Thauvenay in the south-east of the Sancerre appellation. Luc decided to isolate this vineyard after noting it always produced fruit with great maturity whilst maintaining that high acidity - the secret to single vineyard wines in his opinion. It is saline and savoury, making it an excellent food wine with plenty of ageing potential.

Ready: 2023 - 2035
2022 Sancerre Les Monts Damnés, Domaine Paul Prieur et Fils Dry | White | Still | 13%

This is quite rightly Sancerre’s most celebrated site. It's a dramatic slope of Kimmeridgian terres blanches in Chavignol that wraps around the hillside and dips down into the commune of Verdigny, where Luc’s parcel lies. It is a truly magnificent and ageworthy example of Sancerre. The balance of power, racy acidity, and fruit length in this wine are simply captivating. Deep and layered. As ever, don't be afraid to cellar this, it will only improve.

Young: 2025 - 2036
2022 Sancerre La Pitaude, Domaine Paul Prieur et Fils Dry | White | Still | 13%

La Pitaude lies on Kimmeridgian terres blanches soils in the commune of Verdigny (very similar to that of the Monts Damnés vineyard). The site produces bunches with such small berries that the concentration of acidity and flavour in this wine absolutely soars. Yields are so low that Luc has considered pulling the vines out many times, but each year it makes such a spellbinding wine, he decides to keep them. And since this wine is made in only miniscule volumes, he hand writes with a gold pen on the bottle. It would do well for a few years in the cellar, and its saline, savoury structure will make it an excellent food wine in the years to come.

Young: 2025 - 2036

Domaine Gérard Boulay

Chavignol

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Gérard Boulay is one of the top names in Sancerre's most celebrated village, Chavignol. This vineyards are rich in Kimmeridgian marl, and the wines are dramatic and rich.

 

 

2020 Sancerre Clos de Beaujeu, Domaine Gérard Boulay Dry | White | Still | 13.5%

Unlike his neighbours who use the lieu-dit name Cul de Beaujeu, Gérard keeps the original 'Clos' in his, as his vines lie within the oldest part of the vineyard, that had originally been surrounded by a wall. They sit in the chalky Kimmeridgian terres blanches soils of this dramatically steep south-east facing slope that rises up behind the village of Chavignol. Of all his cuvées, this is the most opulent in character, the most open and forward in its youth. 2020 is a vintage of opulence and freshness, meaning it will drink well from youth, as well as age beautifully.

Ready: 2023 - 2033
2019 Sancerre Clos de Beaujeu, Domaine Gérard Boulay Dry | White | Still | 13.5%

Unlike his neighbours who use the lieu-dit name Cul de Beaujeu, Gérard keeps the original 'Clos' in his, as his vines lie within the oldest part of the vineyard, that had originally been surrounded by a wall. They sit in the chalky Kimmeridgian terres blanches soils of this dramatically steep south-east facing slope that rises up behind the village of Chavignol. Of all his cuvées, this is the most opulent in character, the most open and forward in its youth, with fleshy fruits and just a hint of tropical succulence, twinned with a superbly fresh cut of acidity.

Ready: 2022 - 2031
from £360.00
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Domaine Claude Riffault

Sury-en-Vaux

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Stéphane Riffault is making some of the most compelling, exciting wines in the appellation. They have a razor sharp energy, derived from top quality terroir, long, slow fermentation, and extended élevages.

 

2022 Sancerre Les Denisottes, Domaine Claude Riffault Dry | White | Still | 14%

Staggering attention to detail is paid by Stéphane Riffault in both the vineyard and cellar. He is unquestionably making some of the most exciting wines in the appellation. They stand out for their tightly coiled, supercharged concentration. This is Sauvignon Blanc as you've never known it before: powerful, with a filigree, piercing, precise freshness. It is Burgundian in stature. It comes from a parcel grown on Kimmeridgian marl, known locally as terres blanches, which produces wines full of flavour and texture. Long, slow fermentations in large oak foudres encourage complex savoury expression from the Sauvignon Blanc. This is not to be missed.

Ready: 2025 - 2036
2022 Sancerre Les Chailloux, Domaine Claude Riffault Dry | White | Still | 14%

Stéphane Riffault grows in stature with every vintage, and is now unquestionably one of the most exciting producers in the appellation. Chailloux is the local Sancerrois name for flint (more commonly known as silex), and this parcel is tucked up in the north-east of the appellation where this soil type predominates. It has a northwest aspect and is shaded by a large forest. Flinty sites are often a little warmer, but this one keeps cool, and produces profound acidity. The 2022 is focused and structured with a flinty power and backbone of acidity, that drives through the wine from the start through to the very long finish. Excellent.

Young: 2025 - 2036
2022 Sancerre Les Chasseignes, Domaine Claude Riffault Dry | White | Still

This is an exciting new addition to our Claude Riffault offering. Like Denisottes and Chailloux, this is a single vineyard cuvée that shows Stéphean'e dexterity and skill in abundance. It is concentration and intensity you only find in the very best Suavignon Blancs. It also shows the ripe fullness of the vintage, and will drink well from early on.

Ready: 2024 - 2036

Domaine Vincent Pinard

Bué

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Brothers Clément and Florent Pinard reign supreme in the southern village of Bué. Their wines are the mainstay of Michelin-star restaurants the world over for their gastronomique depth and precision. They are the go-to producer for restrained, classical, true terroir-led Sancerre blancs.

2022 Sancerre Les Créots, Domaine Vincent Pinard Dry | White | Still

Les Créots is found in the relatively unknown village of Thauvenay at the south-eastern limit of the appellation. Its quartz-flecked clay soils are fertile ground for quality-minded producers seeking vineyard expression. For an introduction to the domaine’s whites, you couldn’t do much better than this. It is floral and delicate on the nose. The palate has an agile freshness. This is a wonderfully restrained style of Sancerre Blanc, with zesty freshness.

Ready: 2024 - 2029
2020 Sancerre Le Château, Domaine Vincent Pinard Dry | White | Still | 14%

The Pinard brothers, Clément and Florent, are top dogs in the southern village of Bué in the celebrated Sancerre appellation. They make various single vineyard wines in the village, all of which are highly detailed, gastronomic wines. Le Château sits just to the north of Le Grand Chemarin and Chêne Marchand, on Kimmeridgian marl. The wine is tense and powerful with a racy richness and voluminous, ample concentration. Ageing in oak barrels (none new) gives this Sauvignon Blanc a roundness that works so well with the natural power of the site and this vintage.

Ready: 2023 - 2036
from £170.00
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2020 Sancerre Harmonie, Domaine Vincent Pinard Dry | White | Still | 14.5%

Harmonie is one of the best-loved Pinard cuvées. It’s a blend of the top vineyards in Bué: Chêne Marchand and Grand Chemarin. The nose is so complex and already so complete. It offers up crushed seashells, anise, and a touch of tropical fruit. This is Sauvignon Blanc at its vibrant best.

Ready: 2022 - 2029

Domaine Paul Thomas

Chavignol

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We like Paul Thomas's Sancerre so much we put our label on it. This is grassy and fresh, and captures the freshest aspects of the zingy 2021 vintage.

 

2021 Lay & Wheeler Sancerre by Domaine Paul Thomas Dry | White | Still | 13%

Sancerre is the spiritual home of Sauvignon Blanc, where you’ll find the most refined, purest, most ageworthy examples of the grape variety. Domaine Paul Thomas is a small, family-run estate, with just nine hectares of vines in Chavignol, for many the sweet-spot of the region, and the site of the most famous vineyard here, Les Monts-Damnés. This, a blend from the estate’s vineyards around the village of Chavignol, shows pure and aromatic citrus fruits, with a precision and tension on the palate, its texture and minerality derived from the deep limestone soils. It’s a benchmark example of a much-loved region.

Ready: 2023 - 2030