Delivery time: This is a pre-order. Place your pre-order now and receive your case of wine in early July.
At barely 30 years old, Stéphane Riffault, Claude Riffault's son, is turning out Sancerre bottlings that are the envy of many producers twice his age. Stéphane studied in Beaune and then learned with Olivier Leflaive in Burgundy. After his time in Burgundy, the vintner went to Bordeaux, where he stayed for some years at Château Angélus, and returned to Sancerre in 2001. When his father Claude retired, Stéphane took over the winery, and converted the vineyards to organic and biodynamic. He has become one of the most sought-after producers in the region.
This year, we were lucky enough to get our hands on an exclusive and limited allocation of his excellent and high-scoring single vineyard wines. Discover Mosaïque Calcaire and La Noue with this carefully curated mixed case:
3 bottles x Claude Riffault
Mosaïque Calcaire Sancerre 2022
Sauvignon Blanc | White
The grapes of Sauvignon Blanc for the "Mosaïque Calcaire" come from several plots with an array of clay, lime and marl soils formed during the Kimmeridgian in the Jurassic period in Sancerre. This soil ensures a deep implantation of the vines and gives richness to the wine, while the limestone subsoil and sediments of small shells provide a fine minerality.
While most French wine regions suffered from heat, drought and hail this year, and even a little frost in some areas, Sancerre experienced good rainfall in June, which enabled the vineyards not to suffer too much from the water stress that was a common feature across France in 2022.
The aromas range from gooseberries to lime to passion fruit, which brings with it a touch of the exotic. The wine was aged mostly in stainless steel tanks (88%), and in French oak barrels (12%). Due to the short ageing time in barrels, it is ready to be enjoyed now.
The good structure and freshness go particularly well with fish and seafood - and it is also rightly served with dishes with asparagus.
3 bottles x Domaine Claude Riffault
La Noue Sancerre 2021
Pinot Noir | Red
La Noue parcel is made up of 7 different kinds of vines between 8 and 56 years old – they are planted in clay-chalk and kimmeridgian marl soils. This is one of the closest parcels to the domain in Sury-en-Vaux. There is an abundance of Pinot Noir across the 2.5 hectares of vines, and this is where Stéphane produces the cuvée.
After picking the grapes by hand, they are carefully sorted before vatting. Stéphane carries out only a light extraction in order to preserve the grape aromas, a process that allows the terroir and its characteristics to show through. The wine is matured for 12 months.
Not only in colour, but also on the nose, the Sancerre La Noue is dark and mysterious. Morello cherries, black cherries and redcurrant. Behind this fruity-dark wall, there seems to be a linear, chalky framework. Red and black pepper as well as a breeze of cinnamon fall from the spice rack. Ethereal juniper berries, pine cones and a little lovage contribute green elements. Coffee and very discreet dark chocolate finally round it off in this dark manner. It does not seem heavy at all, just very intense and unusual in its aromatic expression.
Straight as a candle it makes its way across the palate. It seems almost bloody. Riffault presents an elegant Pinot Noir with a lot of breed. It is infused with a pleasantly present acid structure. It silkily lines the mouth. The fruit is now clearly brighter and more acidic - morello cherries become sour cherries. Its mineral framework gives it a lot of stability and the aforementioned linearity. The finish is very delicate and not nearly as dark as initially perceived. Juicy and animating to drink.
La Noue is ideal with dishes based on pork or beef that have been simply seared or smoked.