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From one of the oldest established families in Sancerre, cousins Jean-Laurent and Jean-Dominique Vacheron strive continually to be regarded as one of the very best domaines of the appellation. The recent vintages have been exceptional and equally good for the reds as for the whites. Certified biodynamic since 2005, the Vacherons are now seen as equals to Alphonse Mellot – one of Sancerre’s undoubted elite. Having two or three great producers competing at the top is fantastic for the overall reputation of the appellation.
While much of Sancerre lies on chalk soils, much of the exemplary 40 hectares Vacheron estate is planted on Silex-flint over a clay/ limestone base. This particular soil profile contains millions of tiny oceanic fossils. The wine it yields offers a fine minerality and vibrant acidity, alongside the signature ‘gunflint’ aromas. Great care and consideration are practiced in the vineyard, with only plantbased preparations used on the soil and all sowing, hoeing and harvesting carried out by hand. The same attention to detail is present in the winery, with rigorous sorting and gentle pressing for the white wines, whilst for the red wines, all red grapes are destemmed and gently handled as if a fine ‘tea infusion’.
The Vacherons specialise in producing a number of distinctly different cuvées from specific parcels or lieux-dits, following something of a Burgundian philosophy. The cousins are also master blenders, with their ‘domaine’ cuvée exhibiting a fine marriage of intensity, vibrancy and elegance all at once.