New “Premier Cru” Sancerre: Stones, Grapefruit, and Pear

If Sancerre had a grand cru vineyard, it would be the Monts Damnées. This most famous of Sancerre’s terroirs abuts the hamlet of Chavignol west of the town. Sancerre produces popular wine from every corner of its appellation, but the hillside of the Monts Damnées is special.

And just a half mile to the east along the same slope lies “Les Bouffants.” Its soil is similarly full of “Caillotes” (large limestone stones), and it’s from this plot that today’s wine hails. Bouffants’s slope isn’t quite as steep as its famous neighbor, but you’d want someone who knew what they were doing driving a tractor up the hill from you.

Last week we introduced our exciting new source for Sancerre, the Domaine de la Garenne. Their 2017 regular cuvée is delightful and everything we look for in a Sancerre. But “Bouffants” is truly something special.



Made from pure, unoaked Sauvignon Blanc, Bouffants is more dense and serious than Garenne’s regular cuvée. The 2017 is distilled and long, full of mineral intensity and dried fruit. Look for notes of pears and grapefruits, with a long, clean, very dry finish. Think of the ripe fruitiness of a classic Sauvignon combined with the mineral intensity of a Muscadet.

Bouffants is a perfect food wine and can stand up to a wide range of diverse flavors. Last week we served Garenne’s regular cuvée as an aperitif during the sunset, and the Bouffants with steamed lobster for dinner; each match was superb.



Garenne Sancerre “Bouffants” 2017

bottle price : $28


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