- Red Wine
- Pinot Noir
- Sustainable, Vegan-Friendly
- Medium Bodied
- 13% alc./vol
About the Winery
Claude RiffaultAt barely 30 years old, Stéphane Riffault (Claude’s son and now owner of the estate) is turning out Sancerre bottlings that are the envy of many producers twice his age.
Based in the village of Sury-en-Vaux, the Stéphane Riffault works 33 different parcels in 8 different lieu-dits spread across 4 villages. The 13.5 hectares of vines are certified organic and biodynamic. Unlike most Sancerre producers, the entire harvest is carried out by hand and an extensive sorting takes place before the grapes are crushed.
Most of the domaine’s holdings are planted on the soft limestone soil called terres blanches with some parcels on calliottes and silex. With Riffault having studied and worked in Burgundy (and closely with Olivier Leflaive), it’s easy to see the Burgundian influence in Stéphane’s wines. The mastery of minerality standing shoulder to shoulder with the wood is rarely duplicated in Sancerre.
93 points - John Szabo
Stéphane Riffault's 13.5 ha estate includes 3ha planted to pinot noir, of which La Noue represents 2.5 hectares across seven adjoining parcels with vines ranging from 8 to 56 years old, planted on both marls and Kimmeridgian limestones. Vineyard care is rigorous in the extreme (also certified organic), and the effort shows through in the final product, made in minimalist fashion. The 2018 is very much on the riper and fleshier end of the Sancerre Rouge spectrum, brimming with succulent red and black cherry (griottes), yet cool and classy, nicely composed, with fully integrated wood nuances. The palate is all class, vibrant yet fleshy, fresh yet generous, with a fine twang of limestone salinity and a tannin-acid complex that yields fine silk, more spun than woven. The wine gains succulence and energy with aeration, so be sure to serve in large-bowled pinot glasses or gently decant before serving, with a light chill for best effect. It should also hold comfortably in the cellar for another 3-5 years. Tasted May 2021.