François Crochet, 2017 Update

In a whirlwind four-day tour of various domaines in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, which began with my visit to meet Pierre Martin, I couldn’t overlook what is undoubtedly one of the leading domaines in Bué, that of François Crochet. François took over from his father Robert in 2000, and it wasn’t long before the wines he and his wife Carine made here, in this little corner of Bué, came to my attention. Since those first encounters I have endeavoured to taste here every year, and this is merely the most recent of many tasting reports I have posted on the wines of this domaine.

When I arrived François was overseeing the bottling of the 2015 Réserve de Marcigoué, his top red cuvée, so having had a very quick walk around the cellars with him, Carine and I left François to his work, and we headed down into their cellars for a tasting. I wasn’t at all disappointed to be escaping the deafening, clattering-rattling noise of the bottling line, which acoustically resembled a washing machine filled with empty bottles on a fast spin.

François Crochet

The tiny subterranean cellar chez Crochet is of simple yet quite beautiful construction, and it could easily have been built in the 17th century. The only clue that this might not be true is its pristine condition, and in truth it was built by Robert Crochet only a few decades ago. Carine began pulling corks when in walked Jean-Paul Quenault, caviste and proprietor of Le Vin in La Charité-sur-Loire. His little store, situated on the corner just below the town’s partly ruined priory, is well worth a visit if you are ever in town. He has a good stock of interesting Loire Valley wines as well as bottles from further afield, including some interesting rarities, this being – for example – the only place I have ever seen Cuvée Paul, from François Cotat, for sale. Jean-Paul joined us in our tasting, which quickly got underway.

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