Domaine Lucien Crochet
Gilles Crochet was born with wine in his veins - both his grandfathers André Crochet and Lucien Picard were winegrowers in Bué, a commune in the Cher department of France, and his father Lucien Crochet merged the two estates. It was Lucien Picard, one of the pioneers of Sancerre who began to bottle his wines to sell in Paris. Gilles now runs the domaine and makes the wines in the ultra-modern winery fitted out with the latest temperature controlled fermentation vessels. He takes a minimum intervention approach, the grapes are all hand-picked, and native yeasts are used to ferment. Gilles completed his oenology studies in Dijon in Burgundy, and trained at Domaine Dujac in Moray-Saint-Denis, where he discovered another approach with Pinot Noir. He returned to the family estate in 1983 and continues to experiment with new techniques - with the innovative 7 or 8 cuvées he vinifies every vintage. 35 hectares are under vine, 26 planted with Sauvignon Blanc and 9 with Pinot Noir, on clay and limestone soils from the Oxfordian and Kimmeridgian periods. The vineyards are planted at an altitude of between 240 and 280 metres above sea level, mostly in Bué, but with some smaller holdings in the neighbouring villages of Sancerre, Vinon and Crézancy, and have been farmed organically since 1989. A range of white rosé and red Sancerre are produced. These are thrilling wines, taut and sophisticated, expressing the terroir of Sancerre with finesse and complexity.