If Sancerre had a Grand Cru vineyard, it would be the Monts Damnées. This most famous of Sancerre’s terroirs abuts the hamlet of Chavignol west of the town. Sancerre produces popular wine from every corner of its appellation, but the hillside of the Monts Damnées is special.
And just a half mile to the east along the same slope lies “Les Bouffants.” Its soil is similarly full of caillotes (large limestone stones), and it’s from this plot that today’s wine hails. Bouffants’s slope isn’t quite as steep as its famous neighbor – we’ll call it premier cru rather than grand cru – but you’d want someone experienced driving a tractor up the hill from you.
Garenne’s 2018 Bouffants is in the current March Futures issue, which should arrive in May with the rest of Garenne’s excellent lineup. But until then we’re enjoying the exceptionally tasty Bouffants 2017.
Made from pure, unoaked Sauvignon Blanc, Bouffants is more dense and serious than Garenne’s regular cuvée. The 2017 is distilled and long, full of mineral intensity and dried fruit. Look for notes of pears and grapefruits, with a long, clean, very dry finish. Think of the ripe fruitiness of a classic Sauvignon combined with the mineral intensity of a Cru Muscadet.
Bouffants is a perfect food wine and can stand up to a wide range of diverse flavors. It’s at once fleshy and stony, with gorgeous ripe fruit wrapped tightly around a mineral core. Try this with fine sushi or simply roasted fish. Ceviche would be sublime.
Garenne Sancerre “Bouffants” 2017
bottle price: $28
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