Claude Riffault Les Boucauds Sancerre 2011
Sauvignon Blanc from Loire, France
#97 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012
On the nose, the wine reveals aromas of white fleshed fruit and citrus. The generosity of the soil has resulted in a wine that is full-bodied on the palate. The fine minerality and acidity gives the wine freshness. It can be enjoyed on its own or with shell-fish or fish dishes.
Wine Spectator - "This white is still tight, exhibiting a very chiseled feel to the flint and gooseberry notes. The mouthwatering, rapier finish lets chive flower and fleur de sel notes chime in. Could have some staying power in the cellar."
The Wine Advocate - "Lime and cherry-almond scents lusciously inform the silken palate of Riffault's 2011 Sancerre Les Boucauds in a fashion that calls to mind Saar Riesling. Accents of mint and stone add interest to a finish of delightful and mouthwatering persistence, even if this displays nowhere near the energy or interactive complexity of the corresponding 2008 and 2010."
Claude Riffault Winery
Domaine Claude Riffault, which has been family-owned and run for five generations, is now in the hands of Claude’s son Stéphane who is working the soil in a much more organic fashion than his father. Chemical herbicides are no longer used on the parcels and there is a heavy weed cover in most of the parcels. The family owns 33 different (and quite small) plots on steep hillsides in four different villages. Part of the vineyard is made up of limestone soil which produces while vines with great fruit and explosive aromas. They also own a smaller amount of vines on flint soil which produces wines of incredible minerality and precision. The vines are ll vinified by plot and by soil type before some are assembled to make a small number of bottlings. View all Claude Riffault Wines
About LoireChenin Blanc, Muscadet and Sauvignon Blanc. For reds, Cabernet Franc takes center stage but the region also has plantings of Pinot Noir and Gamay. The AC of Cremant de Loire is popular – these are the sparkling wines of the Loire, usually made with Chenin Blanc.
Notable FactsAs for which grapes you find in which regions… Starting on the Atlantic Coast and moving east - Muscadet hails from the region of the same name, within the larger Nantes district, right on the Atlantic coast. The wines are dry, citrusy and pleasant, but rarely powerful or intensely aromatic. Just inland from Nantes is Anjou-Samur, home to Savennières, an excellent source of dry Chenin Blanc. To the east is Touraine, where you'll find the popular white region of Vouvray - Chenin Blanc shines in Vouvray, which can be dry, off-dry or sweet – the majority of those found in the states are a lovely and food-friendly off-dry. In the same district, Cabernet Franc makes delicious, delicate and elegant reds from Bourguil and Chinon. Finally, in the Upper Loire area, Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé turn out Sauvignon Blancs of razor sharp acidity and minerality.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.