Aromas of crisp pears, lemon zest, wildflowers. Stone fruit and citrus, with a finish that echoes the terroir’s smoke and seasalt notes. Complex and very age-worthy. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. A south-facing vineyard, ‘Les Romains’ was one of the domaine’s first single-vineyard bottlings (the first vintage was 1997). Pure flint (silex) soils, rich in fossilized material; such soils are believed to contribute a mineral-inspired “smokiness” to the wine. Vine age 40+ years. Hand-harvested. Fermented on indigenous yeasts in large, upright wooden tanks (25-36HL). Racked, then aged for one year in same wooden tank. Unfiltered.
The Vacherons are without question Sancerre’s leading winemaking clan. From the family’s pioneering work in identifying and exploiting the region’s top terroirs to their leading position in biodynamic viticulture today, there are few if any artisans in Sancerre as exacting or as respected.
Great-grandfather Maurice Vacheron tended a few vines back when Sancerre was but a stop on a village road. His son, Jean, was the first of the family to specialize in producing wine, paying particular attention to the influence of terroir on Sauvignon Blanc. Jean’s sons, Denis and Jean-Louis, solidified the Vacheron name in Sancerre, showcasing the family’s talent with not only Sauvignon Blanc but also Pinot Noir.
Today, Denis’ son, Jean-Laurent, and Jean-Louis’ son, Jean-Dominique, have taken the estate to a whole new level of quality, championing biodynamic viticulture and selecting singular vineyard parcels that the family has observed for generations (and planted with their own hands) to bottle as single-vineyard wines, with the goal of showcasing the heights that Sancerre can reach.
For more than two decades we’ve brought these world-class wines to the United States, and it has been exhilarating to watch the family’s vine-growing and winemaking expertise deepen with each vintage. To wit, the family has always made fine Sancerre; yet the current generation has pushed the estate to a level of quality that transcends appellation.
Natural winemaking at Domaine Vacheron is second nature. Taking care of the soil, and in turn the vine, is of the utmost importance to the family. Vines have been cared for biodynamically since the early 2000s, and the estate is certified in both organic and biodynamic practices. No synthetic materials whatsoever are used in the vineyards; the family makes its own organic compost. Yields are naturally low.
Harvest is exclusively by hand. Grapes are fermented on indigenous yeasts in a combination of stainless-steel or cement tanks and wooden, open-top fermenters. Wines are aged either in large oak cask or French oak barrels, depending on the cru and the vintage, and are bottled unfiltered, according to the lunar cycle.