Sancerre Claude Riffault Mosaique Calcaire


At barely 30 years old, Stephane Riffault (Claude’s son and now owner of the estate) is turning out Sancerre bottlings that are the envy of many producers twice his age. As David Schildknecht put it, “make no mistake: this address in the hamlet of Maison Salle (Sury-en-Vaux) is now one of the five or six most exciting estates in the Sancerre appellation.” Given that Stephane’s holdings represent 4 tenths of 1 percent of the appellation, this kid is clearly doing something right. Based in the village of Sury-en-Vaux, the domaine works 33 different parcels in 6 different lieu-dits spread across 4 villages. The 13.5 hectares of vines are plowed and no synthetic material is used. Unlike most Sancerre producers, the entire harvest is carried out by hand and an extensive sorting takes place before the grapes are crushed. Stephane’s wife, Benedicte, leads the harvest team while Stephane manages the sorting and press during harvest. Most of the domaine’s holdings are planted on the soft limestone soil called Terres Blanches with some parcels on calliottes and silex. Small, judicious uses of oak help to add length to the already precise and vertical bottling. All of the parcels are vilified separately and with the exception of the rose, all the wines are bottled unfiltered. Having studied and worked in Burgundy (and closely with Olivier Leflaive), it’s easy to see the Burgundian influence in Stephane’s wines. The mastery of minerality standing shoulder-height with the wood is rarely duplicated in Sancerre. Regardless of the exposition of his parcels (many are south-facing), Riffault’s wines are always crisp and high-cut with a jeweled sort of delineation that speaks to the precision and attention these wines get. These are not your daddy’s (or his daddy’s) Sancerres.


Tasting Notes from Pinto Wines

Colour Medium straw yellow with hints of orange
Nose creamy, bright and silky, with a blend of different fruits, including ripe pears, stone fruits, fully ripe lemons and white and green berries, complemented by a hint of exotic carambola
Palate Soft and juicy, with a tonic sip and persistent mineral hints

Fact Sheet

Size 75 cl
Grape Variety 100 % Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol % 14%
Style Full-Bodied White wine
Estate/Producer Stéphane Riffault
Country France
Region Loire Valley
Vintage 2022
Vinification The grapes are hand-picked from 52-year-old vines in beds filled with limestone, calcareous clay and slate. The shelters lead to the east, southeast and southwest. The grapes are carefully sorted before the long pneumatic pressing, after which the wine is allowed to settle at a cool temperature. The wine ferments without added yeasts. Fermentation and maturation on lees in cement tanks for 6 months. The wine was bottled in March 2020
Closure Natural Cork
Cellaring/Ageing Potential Ready to be enjoyed now


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