Sancerre Les Boucauds by Claude Riffault


Situated just next to the estate, this location contains half of their Sauvignon Blanc plots. The vines are between 10 and 50 years old and grow in clay-limestone marl soil. Known locally as “Terre Blanches”, this clay soil dates back to the Kimmeridgian age of the secondary Jurassic era, 140 million years ago. This soil allows the vine to take root deep down. It provides fullness and richness to the wine, whilst the limestone subsoil and small shell sediments endow it with a fine minerality. The generosity of the soil has resulted in a wine that is full-bodied on the palate. The fine minerality and acidity gives the wine freshness. It can be enjoyed on its own or with shell-fish or fish dishes.

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 (the property is in the process of being certified organic). 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 Bright straw yellow
Nose It is expressed on pleasant and complex nuances of fruit, citrus and minerals, among which stand out in particular hints of white fruits, pink grapefruit and wet stone
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 2020
Vinification Hand harvested, 80% of the juice is fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain the fresh fruit characteristics and 20% is fermented in barrel; each parcel is then aged separately for 7-8 months before being blended and bottled in early summer
Closure Natural Cork
Cellaring/Ageing Potential Ready to be enjoyed now or

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