Domaine Francis Blanchet

Pouilly-sur-Loire | Loire Valley

Domaine Francis Blanchet Pouilly Fume North Berkeley ImportsSince the early 1990s, winemaker Francis Blanchet has crafted a special selection of pure Sauvignon Blanc from fruit selected from flint-rich vineyards for us. This unique terroir announces itself explosively: knock two vineyard stones together and you can’t help but be bowled over by the aroma of firecracker smoke.

Indeed, fumé means “smoked” in French, which gives you more than a hint of why Sauvignon Blanc from producers like Blanchet in this charmed appellation across the river from Sancerre is so energetic and mineral-driven. 

Now that Francis’ son, Mathieu, has joined the winery, the Blanchet family can count eight generations of winemakers among its ranks. This centuries-plus dedication to the soul of the Loire and the character of Sauvignon Blanc, its native grape, make the Blanchet clan a reliable source for the true voice of this vibrant grape.

In addition to our special flint-soil selection, Francis has further identified unique plots of land—whether with older, massal selection vines or ‘Kriotine,’ for example, from chalky limestone soils—and then has bottled them separately. This attention to terroir is what sets Blanchet Sauvignon Blanc apart from, and certainly qualitatively above, more basic regional bottlings.

For us, Domaine Blanchet offers one of the most expressive, unadulterated tastes of  Sauvignon Blanc, choosing to raise his wines only in tank—so what you savor with every glass is the most natural expression of “smoky” Sauvignon there is.

FARMING & WINEMAKING

Winemaker Francis Blanchet cares for his vines sustainably, avoiding chemical inputs. The estate regularly plows vineyard rows, and plants beneficial herbs to control weed growth and stimulate vines’ roots to dig deeper into the soil.

Estate holdings cover a range of classic Loire terroir, including Kimmeridgian marl, flint/clay, and limestone. Many of Blanchet’s wines are based on a particular terroir selection, to highlight in the glass each unique expression of Sauvignon Blanc.

Interestingly, estate vines, following DNA testing, have proved to be some of the oldest existing clones of Sauvignon Blanc—the true “mother” rootstock of Loire Sauvignon. Many of these vines are massal selection plantings from original rootstock planted by Francis Blanchet’s grandparents. 

Grapes are pressed gently in a horizontal, pneumatic press, with juice fed to tanks via gravity. Juice is then fermented on indigenous yeasts and aged in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks, in an effort to preserve Sauvignon Blanc’s naturally vibrant aromas and flavors.

WHITE WINES
Pouilly-Fumé ‘Cuvée Silice’
Crisp and light on the tongue, with flavors of Meyer lemons and limes, combined with a flinty, smoky perfume so characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc from this appellation.

 

 

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Pouilly-Fumé ‘Cuvée Vieilles Vignes’
A special selection of older vines, some 80 years or older, from the estate’s peerless flint-rich soils. A stunning, complex wine and one that will age, too; put a case away and forget about it for 10 years, then be amazed!

 

 

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Pouilly-Fumé ‘Cuvée Kriotine'

Another peerless terroir selection! ‘Criot’ soils (in local dialect) are rich in limestone, with lots of small, white stones; winemaker Francis Blanchet’s ‘Kriotine’ is a selection of Sauvignon Blanc fruit from a plot that is littered with such stones. This mineral-rich terroir delivers a Sauvignon Blanc with crushed oyster shell aromas and lots of citrus energy, a vibrant wine!

 

 

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Established: 1900s
Winemaker: Francis Blanchet
Region: France • Loire Valley • Pouilly-sur-Loire
Vineyard size: 23 acres

PRACTICING SUSTAINABLE FARMING

Domaine Francis Blanchet Pouilly Fume Loire North Berkeley Imports