Wine of the Week: Sébastien Riffault 2011 “Les Quarterons” Sancerre

It’s no secret that Colleen and I are not the biggest fans of Sauvignon Blanc. It can be aggressively green and grassy, or so overtly tropical that it borders on offensive. I never thought I’d find a balanced Sauvignon Blanc with enough finesse to find it’s way on to my dinner table, until I tasted this one…

This great wine from Sébastien Riffault is from the famous Sauvignon Blanc producing region Sancerre, located within the Loire Valley. Riffault’s vineyards are all certified organic, and he only uses sulfur and copper sprays in the vineyard when absolutely necessary. As a result, the grapes can become slightly botrytised; the wine takes on rich honey and baked apple undertones, while maintaining tension, mineral, and citrus at it’s core. All stainless steel fermented and aged, it’s fresh and lively while having an unusual richness from the natural farming methods and full malolactic fermentation.

Natural Sauvignon Blanc from a famous region and a producer with a cult following – get your hands on some of this amazing, affordable juice before it’s gone!

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Winemaker: Sébastien Riffault
Bio: Sébastien has slowly been taking over winemaking responsibilities from his father, Etienne, since 2004, which began with converting the estate to organic, then Biodynamic farming. He can name every plant growing in his cover crop, and his winemaking methods are heavily influenced by the old traditions of the region.
Region: France>Loire Valley>Sancerre
Vineyard: Certified Biodynamic 5 hectare plot grown in silex, clay, and limestone soil. South & south-east exposure on 20% grade. 20 year old vines farmed with horse & plow.
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Aging: 18 months sur lie in stainless steel
Production Notes: Hand-harvested fruit. Native yeast fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. Aged for 18 months in stainless steel on the lees, with full malolactic fermentation. Unfined and unfiltered. Minimal SO2 added at bottling.
Tasting Notes: Layered, complex aromas of honey, baked apple, and lime zest lead to a rich, round palate with balanced acidity and flavors of apple, mineral, and herbs.
Food Pairing: Herb-roasted chicken, anything with wild mushrooms, fresh bread rubbed with garlic scape pesto.

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