Jean Tatin & Chantal Wilk, 2020 Update

At the most superficial level, Quincy is a relatively simple appellation to understand. There is just one variety permitted, what else but Sauvignon Blanc, and the superficial soils are dominated by sandy and silty alluvial deposits. The Kimmeridgian limestones that sweep across northern France are largely buried by this river-borne detritus, although the bedrock does come close to the surface in parts, and you do find some clay here and there. The river in question, around which the vineyards cluster, is the Cher, the numerous parcels located mostly on the left bank. It is isolated from more famous appellations, such as Menetou-Salon and of course Sancerre to the east, and also from less famous under-the-radar vineyards to the west, such as those gathered around the Cher at Montrichard.

This all boils down to an appellation known for supple and velvety Sauvignons, the sandy soils inducing earlier budbreak and earlier ripening, as a consequence giving the wines a richer and more textured palate. They are usually wines for drinking early, while you wait for the Sancerre you bought at the same time to soften in the cellar for a year or two. With that purpose in mind, the wines really perform.

Jean Tatin & Chantal Wilk

It is perhaps difficult to imagine a vigneron presenting a more nuanced view of the appellation than this, but at least one of the thirty-or-so growers who work these soils chooses to do so. No prizes for guessing the identity of the king of the single-vineyard cuvée in this corner of the Loire Valley; it is Jean Tatin, who works with his partner Chantal Wilk, and these days also their daughter Maroussia. Earlier this year I stopped off to taste with Maroussia (pictured above) in the hope of reacquainting myself with the cuvées from Gatebourse, Nouzats, Victoires and Chaumoux. I didn’t need much persuading to check out the rest of the portfolio though, so I present here eighteen new tasting notes on some of the most recent releases from the Tatin clan.

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