Pascal Jolivet was founded in 1987 and is one of the most dynamic domaines in France’s Loire Valley. Based in Sancerre, the domaine now owns 70 hectares of vineyards spread across the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. The domaine supplements the estate holdings with additional fruit sourced from long-term contract growers some of the prime sites of the region including ‘Les Caillottes’, ‘Le Chêne Marchand’ and ‘Le Clos du Roy’. Pascal shares his philosophy with winemaker, Valentina Buoso: to work in harmony with nature to produce wines with purity of fruit, a linear character and minerality, allowing a natural expression of the vineyard to give the wines a sense of place.
Jolivet own 42 hectares of vineyard in Sancerre at an altitude of 200-400m, close to the villages of Bué, Verdigny and Ste Gemme. Located close to the Loire River and surrounded by forest creates a relatively mild micro climate for the vineyards. This wine is selected from a 3.5 hectare parcel of 40 year old vines planted on south facing slopes at the top of the village of Bué-en-Sancerre in the area called “La Plante des Prés”, one of the best sites in Sancerre. Soils are rich in limestone with excellent drainage. Yields are very low: the old vines produce less than 45 hectolitres per hectare. The vines are trained using the vertical shoot positioning system.
The grapes are hand picked and hand sorted, and then gently pressed. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel using wild yeasts, at 18°C for 25 days. After fermentation, the wine spends a further two months ageing in stainless steel before bottling.
“What a year! Even the oldest winegrowers can scarcely remember a better Loire Valley harvest, both in quality and yield; 2018 will be etched on our memories as a historic vintage. From Nantes to Sancerre we’re seeing highly aromatic, flavourful wines across all three colours.
Spring weather was very favourable, promoting remarkably early flowering and excellent fruit set. Unhampered by hail or frost, the vines continued to develop normally with no major problems – until June. June brought bouts of heavy rain, followed by serious attacks of mildew. On the whole, however, these were skilfully managed by the winegrowers. Summer temperatures then reached an all-time high; grapes continued to grow well and remained in robust health, with harvests throughout the vineyards being almost as early as those of 2017.
Conditions were excellent throughout, from the end of August right through to October; growers harvested their fruit with total peace of mind, knowing the grapes had reached full maturity.” www.vinsvaldeloire.fr
A wine of style marked by richness, elegance and smoothness. Lifted perfumes of flint, citrus zest. This is powerful and presents a perfect balance. The body is full with refreshing acidity to balance the wine which has the classic purity of citrus and nettle fruit found in top quality Sancerre. Appetizing with a mineral character.
Serve with trout or salmon, goats cheese or white meats.
Serve at 10-12°C.
James Suckling: 90 Points
Sancerre AOC, Loire
100% Sauvignon Blanc