Claude Riffault - Sancerre Les Boucauds 2022
“Make no mistake: this address in the hamlet of Maison Salle is now one of the five or six most exciting estates in the Sancerre appellation.” Wine Advocate
The other estates? Vatan, Vacheron, Cotat, Pinard and Agisson… $36 might get you a HALF bottle. In the case of Vatan, maybe just a glass!
Riffault’s meteoric rise to the upper echelon of the world’s greatest Sauvignon Blanc producers started in 2008 when Stephane, Claude’s son, began implementing changes. The first was hand-harvesting, which resulted in cleaner, purer fruit. Conversion to organic farming started in 2013, followed by biodynamic practices in 2018. Given the keys to the estate in 2015, Stephane has fine-tuned his skills each vintage.
Lucky for us, his prices haven’t quite caught up to his prodigious talent.
Considering this wine will improve with age and drink well for at least another 10 years, you may want to grab a little extra. It’s hard to see these prices staying like this for long.
Riffault’s Les Boucauds vineuards are planted in the famed “Terres Blanches” Kimmeridgian limestone-clay soil. “Terres blanches” or “white earth” is the same famed soil of Chablis and is the source for wines of opulence and complexity. Fermentation and aging occurs in a split of stainless steel and neutral French oak barrels. Aging occurs on the lees to impart richness and weight to balance the vibrant acidity and minerality.
Aromas of gooseberry and pineapple explode from the glass, blending with creamy peach and citrus flavors. There’s substance and style here, yet all the while elegant and alive. Worth every nickel, I’m grabbing a sixer for myself!
Vinous Media: 94 Points
"The 2022 Les Boucauds sashays around the mouth. It is rich and rounded, possibly due to the deep clays on this clay limestone with a ripe, almost tropical aromatic profile offering melon, pear and pineapple alongside white flowers. A rather satisfying style that remains in barrel and will be blended in the summer of 2023." -VM
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