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, with the goal of ensuring each vineyard’s unique character and the resonant flavors and aromas of Sauvignon Blanc are expressed honestly in each bottle. 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.

For a map of each of Blanchet’s vineyard holdings and how they relate to each of his terroir-inspired bottlings, please download this document (PDF).

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, 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.

 

 

  • Download fact sheet (PDF)
Pouilly-Fumé ‘Cuvée Kriotine’

‘Cuvée Kriotine’ is a special terroir selection, hailing from a vineyard that Francis’ grandparents first planted so many years ago. Here, chalky limestone soils create an ideal mineral cocktail for Sauvignon Blanc vines, giving grapes pep and poise and energy that translates directly to the glass. ‘Kriotine’ is a fantasy name inspired by the word ‘criot,’ which in local dialect describes a vineyard terroir with many white stones.

 

 

  • Download fact sheet (PDF)
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 ‘Les Débuts'

In French, “the beginnings” references a style of wine that Pouilly-sur-Loire winemakers used to traditionally make, combining fruit from all their various terroirs into a single wine. (Blanchet now crafts mostly single-vineyard or single-terroir selections.) A delicious aperitif that showcases the true heart and soul of Pouilly: crisp lemon, crushed stone, a hint of smoke and a whole lot of thirst-quenching pleasure. 

 

 

  • Download fact sheet (PDF)

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

PRACTICING SUSTAINABLE FARMING (PDF)

Domaine Francis Blanchet Pouilly Fume Loire North Berkeley Imports