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Claude Riffault Les Boucauds Sancerre 2011

Sauvignon Blanc from Loire, France
  • WS91
  • RP90
0% ABV
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#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.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
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.
RP 90
Robert Parker's 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.
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Claude Riffault

Claude Riffault

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Claude Riffault, Loire, France
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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.

Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.

The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.

The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).

The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.

Sauvignon Blanc

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. However, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and here is most important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand, California, Australia and parts of northeastern Italy. Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon blanc.

In the Glass

From its homeland In Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, it expresses citrus, flint and smoky flavors, especially from in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, often reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California produces fruity and rich oak-aged versions as well as snappy and fresh, Sauvignon blancs, which never see any oak.

Perfect Pairings

The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor lends it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood and mild Asian cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like artichokes or asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

RPT72196397_2011 Item# 121202