Domaine des Buissonnes’ Sancerre is precisely why Sancerre is so beloved and has such far reaching popularity; the flavors are refreshing, crisp and persistent. Grower and winemaker Dominique Naudet is a meticulous farmer. His Sancerre is always lush on the aromatics without compromising that charged Sauvignon Blanc attack. The 2013 is particularly compelling with its focused and precise flavors; compact and clean. You will immediately be greeted by aromas of gooseberry and passionfruit. On the palate it’s got citrus and cut grass freshness, but by no means is it “grassy”.
At the end of April, Jeanne-Marie de Champs, who represents many of the producers The Wine House imports, and comes to SF bi-annually to visit us, held court in our new conference room sharing with TWH staff a line-up of newly arrived wines off of our last container. Though Jeanne-Marie works from Beaune in the heart of Burgundy, she is originally from Loire. When Jeanne-Marie is in town, I try to take these opportunities to ask as many questions as possible about each domaine, especially ones like Buissonnes that leaves no marketing or social media footprint. It is as if they don’t exist, other than the fact that our clients clamor for it as if it were the only Sancerre on the market.
Jeanne-Marie showing Peter the line-up
Jeanne-Marie explained that typical of the region, Domaine des Buissonnes owns several parcels around Sancerre, not just one contiguous vineyard. This is by design as the region is often devastated by hail, and owning vines in various places helps to insure a crop. Dominique Naudet owns about 20 hectares of vines and the winery itself is in Sury-en-Vaux just north of the town of Sancerre. Vinification occurs in stainless steel however to draw out aromatics and give a rounded mouthfeel, the wine sits long on the lees.
JM Holding Court
In an article about Sancerre’s popularity, a wine director for a high profile New York restaurant confessed that he won’t offer Sancerre by the glass because if he did it would make it nearly impossible to sell another white by the glass, thus destroying his by-the-glass program. Just some food for thought. Despite the popularity, I would caution that not all Sancerre is made equally. The family-run estate of Domaine des Buissonnes can only survive if it delivers quality, which is does vintage after vintage.
At a small town farmer’s market this past week I purchased some sweet, young Spring onions that would be perfect to grill, drizzle with a light vinaigrette and then crumbled over with fresh goat cheese – you know where I am going with this? – to serve with a chilled glass of 2013 Domaine des Buissonnes Sancerre. Now, doesn’t that sound lovely?