Domaine Vacheron, 2015 Update

Vacheron is a name that has, for me, always existed in Sancerre. I first visited the domaine well over two decades ago, and even as a broke student I had a few bottles in the cellar, along with Chinon Clos de l’Echo from Couly-Dutheil and Saumur-Champigny from the likes of Filliatreau and Château de Villeneuve. Suffice to say I have known of the domaine for a long time, and although I have not followed it consistently across the last two decades I have certainly been doing so during the last six or seven years. By this time the domaine had already been converted to biodynamic viticulture, the cousins Jean-Dominique and Jean-Laurent having made this move in 2004. They really upped their game from about 2010 onwards though, with the introduction of the singe-vineyard cuvées. The Vacherons now offer not only reliably exemplary quality and classic style with their domaine cuvée, but also a portfolio of delightfully nerdy interest and complexity with the new, broader range of wines. What is more, this range has just been expanded with the addition of two new cuvées, Le Pavé and L’Enclos des Remparts, the latter a fascinating wine which all committed fans of Sancerre should taste at least once.

Domaine Vacheron

This relatively new complexity within the portfolio looks more towards Burgundy for its inspiration than it does to other Loire Valley appellations, and of course it is not only in this matter that Sancerre perhaps has more in common with Chablis or perhaps even Montrachet than it does with Vouvray or Savennières, the Loire Valley’s other truly ‘great’ white wine appellations. With half a dozen single-vineyard cuvées on the go here now the Vacheron portfolio is certainly starting to resemble the sort of offering we might find at a notable Burgundy address. The cousins are using their wines to explore the terroir of Sancerre, one vineyard and one cuvée at a time. This perception was only enhanced on this most recent tasting when Jean-Dominique Vacheron (pictured above) revealed the existence of these two aforementioned new cuvées. Both hail from tiny lieux-dits not previously seen represented by their own cuvées in the Vacheron portfolio, although the family have in each case owned the vines for many years.

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