LOIRE VALLEY - EASTERN LOIRE

LOIRE VALLEY - EASTERN LOIRE

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CAVES DE POUILLY SUR LOIRE 

DOMAINE MATHIEU COSTE   

DOMAINE ROGER CHAMPAULT & FILS 

DOMAINE JEAN MAX ROGER 

DOMAINE SEBASTIEN TREUILLET 

PHILIPPE GILBERT

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This co-operative was founded in 1948 by a handful of winemakers and continues to work with a group of dedicated growers whose vineyards stretch across Pouilly Fumé, Pouilly-sur-Loire, and Côteaux du Giennois.

Sprawling some eight kilometres along the well-exposed slopes that border the right bank of the Loire River, the co-operative’s vineyards receive bountiful sunshine ensuring optimal ripeness at harvest.

The group produces 20 percent of the total production of Pouilly Fumé and Pouilly-sur-Loire, including 1000 hectares of Pouilly Fumé, which is comprised entirely of Sauvignon Blanc (or Blanc Fumé as it is colloquially known—thanks to a successful marketing ploy in the 1960s). The soil here is varied, but the unique Kimmeridgian marl is dominant, lending more body to Sauvignon Blancs of this appellation.

At harvest, grapes are delivered to the winery, which sits on the banks of the Loire River at Moulin-à-Vent. White grapes are typically vinified at the beginning of October. They are left to stand for 24 hours to allow the skins, pips, and stalks to settle in the vat. The juice is then decanted from the solids, and fermented for three to four weeks at a temperature between 15 and 20 degrees centigrade. The wines are cold stabilised to prevent deposits, and are filtered for clarity.


domaine mathieu coste

DOMAINE MATHIEU COSTE

ORGANIC

2014 Vin de France - "Rebelle" (Barrel Fermented) 
2011 AOC Coteaux du Giennois rouge - "Têtes de Chats" 
2012 AOC Coteaux du Giennois rouge - "Têtes de Chats" 

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Formerly known as Domaine Alain Paulat, Mathieu Coste bought this Côteaux-du-Giennois AOC estate in August 2008.

Coste had once worked at the co-operative of Pouilly-sur-Loire, where he vinified the grapes from various growers, one of which was Alain Paulat. During this time, Coste had recognised the high quality of Paulat’s grapes, which far surpassed any others.

Coste was then hired by the viticulture school of Cosne-sur-Loire, before going to teach and work for the Viticulture School of Beaune in Burgundy. In 2008, when Paulat wanted to sell his vineyard, Coste took over the 5.5 hectare plot, retaining Paulat as his only employee. The two men became great friends, and Coste continued to champion Paulat’s organic techniques.

Set on the siliceous limestone hills of the Loire between Gien and Cosne-sur-Loire, the vineyard has been farmed organically since 1982. From his small plot of 40 to 60-year-old Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc vines, Coste produces authentic red, white, and rosé wines that reveal the uniqueness of their terroir.

In the vineyard, he plows the weeds under several times a year to nourish the vines, which are head-pruned to decrease yields. Grapes are hand-harvested and fermented on both their skins and stems so to follow the traditional Burgundian three-week whole-cluster process using indigenous yeasts. The wines are not fined or filtered, and are rotated between old oak and steel for two to five years.


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The appellation of Sancerre is located at the eastern-most edge of the Loire Valley’s vineyard area, and is composed of a maximum of 2,500 permitted hectares.

This estate stretches over 20 of those hectares, and dates back to around 1850 when it was founded by François Champault, who passed it on to his son Stanislas Champault. This tradition of wine-growing savoir-faire being passed from father to son has been repeated for several generations of the Champault family.

Roger Champault was the fifth generation to govern this family business, who has since bestowed the privilege to his two sons, Claude and Laurent—with Claude as winemaker and Laurent managing the vineyards.

When Roger first inherited the estate, he only owned two hectares, but slowly he has acquired further parcels and planted new vines. Sauvignon Blanc vines now cloak the hills of the old winegrower's village of Champtin, rooted among the terroir’s signature soils of chalk, limestone-gravel, and silex.

Sancerre once produced light reds, but after phylloxera devastated the region, European varieties were grafted onto American root stocks, and Sauvignon Blanc proved the most responsive. Hence, this is now the celebrated varietal of the appellation.

The French Ministry of Agriculture has awarded Roger Champault’s estate a ‘High Environmental Value’ certificate, or HVE, which is granted to wineries that demonstrate respect for the environment, based the categories of fostering biodiveristy, sustainable practices and treatment control, waste water treatment, and general waste treatment.


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Located in the village of Bué, south of Sancerre, this domain dates back to the early 17th century.

Jean-Max Roger inherited a domain of four hectares of vines in the early 1970s and expanded the small estate to its current size of 26 hectares. He comes from a long lineage of winegrowers based in Bué, and in 2004, two of Jean-Max’s sons, Etienne and Thibault, returned to the estate after professional careers in France and abroad. Jean-Max’s third son, Xavier, also lives his passion for wine in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

Based in the Sancerre appellation, the domain’s vines sit among the communes of Bué and Sancerre, and the hamlets of Amigny, Crézancy, and Vinon. The Roger family also operates five hectares of vines in the Menetou-Salon AOC, where the first plantings occurred in 1981.

Jean-Max Roger has long been regarded as ahead of his time. When he first planted grasses between the vines and began to plow in 1990, people thought he was mad, but today this is a commonly understood practice.

The vineyards are primarily made up of caillottes (named for the pebbly and limestone-rich soil) and terres blanches (a white earth of clay-limestone and Kimmeridgian marl), with only a single parcel rooted in siliceous soil.

Among the winery buildings, the barrel cellar and tasting room date back to the early 17th century, while the pressing room was once one of the village’s tithe barns.

The domain produces white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, and reds and rosé from Pinot Noir. After settling for 48–72 hours, the must is racked and left to ferment in tanks for several weeks, with temperatures closely monitored. The Rogers use indigenous yeasts, fine with bentonite, and filter before bottling. The long fermentation period and prolonged ageing on lees cause complexity and structure in the white wines, while preserving fruit and freshness.


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DOMAINE SEBASTIEN TREUILLET

2017 AOC Pouilly Fumé (Sauvignon Blanc)

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Sébastien Treuillet stems from a long line of grain farmers, but he is the first in his lineage to become a wine farmer. Alongside his 12 hectares of vines, he also cultivates 140 hectares of cereals.

His vines fall across three appellations: Pouilly-Fumé, Côteaux-du-Giennois, and Vin du Pays du Val du Loire. The majority of his vines are in the Pouilly-Fumé AOC, with 3.5 hectares in Côteaux-du-Giennois and 2 hectares of Vin de Pays.

His passion for wine began at the age of 15, when he would go to stay with a friend in Sancerre whose family were vignerons. He went on to work for Pierre Dézat (Verdigny) and then the Champaults (Champtin), before starting his own domain in 1991. Since then, he has worked hard to continuously improve his estate and practices.

Treuillet principally grows Sauvignon Blanc in the village of Fontenille, about seven kilometres from Pouilly-sur-Loire. He employs a number of techniques in his vineyards, including special vine-training and pruning, to keep yields low and the quality high.

He grows on a number of different soils, including limestone clay, Kimmeridgian, sandy soils, and some caillottes (limestone-rich pebbles).


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This family domain is situated in the hamlet of Faucards among the Menetou-Salon appellation of the Loire. The area has been a traditional wine-making region since the 11th century.

Francois Gilbert switched careers from a tavern-keeper to establish this domaine back in 1768. Today it is run by Philippe Gilbert, who began his career writing and producing plays for the theatre, but was driven to return to the land and become a vigneron when his father was set to retire.

He has injected new energy into the estate, instigating a switch to organic practices in 2006 and earning certification. His 13 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and 15 hectares of Pinot Noir are now operated according to biodynamic principles.

It’s one of the largest domains in the appellation, with vineyards scattered throughout the villages of Menetou-Salon, Vignoux, Parassy, and Morogues.

The terroir dates back to the Jurassic period, with limestone-rich clay and fossilised oyster shells melding with the famous Kimmeridgian marl that extends from Menetou through Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire to Chablis and Champagne.

Menetou-Salon’s microclimate delivers warm days and cool nights, allowing the grapes to sweeten while maintaining excellent acidity, and soaking up an intense minerality from the soils below.