2022 François Cotat Sancerre Caillotes14742
WINEMAKER: François Cotat
REGION: Sancerre, FR
VARIETY: Sauvignon Blanc
This has superb dimension, unlike any other Sancerre - bright lemon, fresh ginger and white pepper perfumes are lifted and hover over a rocky minerality; the mouth is equally defined yet is made rich with a sensation of silky, full-bodied white fruits. The mouthfeel is chiseled and pure with layers of concentrated flavour. This used to be called "Jeunes Vignes" but François has been vinifing “Caillottes” separately since 2005; the vineyard name refers to a type of soil found in Sancerre—very rocky and chalky. This is a wine that will keep and improve for many years.
Since 1947, the Cotat family has been producing some of the most exceptional wines that the Loire has to offer. Today, François is at the helm of this wonderfully modest, tiny domaine (just 4 hectares) inheriting his father's parcels of old vines when he and his cousin Pascal separated the family vineyard in 1990. Their success and individuality can be attributed to François' intense passion for creating the finest wine possible and his exceptionally placed vineyards. Prudent viticulture combined with densely planted vines, ultra-low yields and relatively late harvesting produces fantastically flavoursome fruit.
There are three things that define François Cotat’s wines. Firstly the superb Kimmeridgean terroir around the famed village of Chavignol and specifically it’s vertiginously steep vineyard, Les Monts Damnés. Secondly, his vineyards are planted at a density of 8000 vines per hectare – higher than the more normal average of 6000 vines per hectare & with average yields of 45 hl/ha, far lower than Sancerre’s ‘rendement de base’ of 65 hl/ha. Thirdly, that he is often the last to harvest, sometimes a week later than his peers and this, combined with his meagre yields, provides sublime and incomparable quality.
In the cellar, François uses natural yeasts, no debourbage, no sulphur during fermentation (he uses sulphur at racking and bottling) and only one battonage after the fermentation has finished. Whilst not Biodynamic, he uses organic fertilisers and racks according to the phases of the moon. His incredible wines develop with age and, in the best vintages, can be cellared for more than 30 years.