Most drinkers of wine are aware of the association between wine, family and village. It is a rule that applies most obviously to Burgundy; if the name is Gagnard, for example, then we must be in Chassagne-Montrachet. If it is Gros, then surely we are in Vosne-Romanée, and if a bottle from a grower named Dauvissat or Defaix should cross our paths, then surely our thoughts must turn to Chablis? Such simple rules are not just applicable to Burgundy though; they can be applied to at least some parts of the Loire Valley as well, in particular Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.
To draw comparisons between the villages of Burgundy, and those of France’s Central Vineyards (the rather dull collective term for Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and associated appellations) is not inappropriate. There are many common themes, such as terroir, especially if we look to Chablis rather than the Côte d’Or. And here in the communes and villages of Sancerre, certain names should also conjure up specific villages and styles, just as they do in Burgundy. Cotat means Chavignol, and Dagueneau means Pouilly-Fumé (specifically Saint-Andélain). But if it is a glass from a grower named Crochet – be it Daniel, Lucien, François or otherwise – that you are nursing, then you are drinking a wine from Bué.
Bué is a small commune that lies just a few kilometres to the west of the town of Sancerre, and just a little to the south of Chavignol. At it’s heart is the village of the same name, Bué, a tiny collection of rooftops stretched out along the D85 as it runs roughly north and northwest through the commune, towards Menetou-Ratel. The domaine of François Crochet (pictured above) is located just to the north of Bué, in Venoize; there is a modern house, and behind that, slightly higher up the slope, a recently constructed chai. It is here that François and his charming wife Carine make their wines, bringing in fruit from their 10.5 hectares of vines, which are planted on all three of the principle Sancerre terroirs.