LOIRE VALLEY - FRANCE
For wine lovers around the world, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé have a place in their hearts as two of the finest dry whites. The Sancerre vineyards are spread over chalky, stony soils, rich in marine fossils. They lie on a series of southeastern facing slopes that, from a distance, form one large hill interrupting the flat waterways of the upper Loire. Pouilly-Fumé resides across the river on the other bank from Sancerre. Its main difference, aside from aspect, is the presence of flint in the soils, giving the wine its great minerality and smoky notes.
The Bourgeois family have been wine-makers in Sancerre for ten generations. Jancis Robinson MW in the Oxford Wine Companion describes Henri Bourgeois as “meticulous growers, producing the best of Sancerre”. Andrew Jefford describes Henri Bourgeois as a “high quality Sancerre house that is run with deafening energy” in his book, The New France. Put simply, Henri Bourgeois is consistently one of the best growers in Sancerre; they make beautiful wines that are highly awarded.
Jean-Marie Bourgeois and family have owned vineyards near the village of Chavignol since 1950. Today they farm 65 hectares of premium vines, enviably located among the best slopes of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Domaine Henri Bourgeois operates an ethos whereby ultimate respect for the terroir is paramount, their generations of experience merges with the adoption of innovation and technology — to produce some of the finest wines in the region.
The wittily titled Petit Bourgeois misses appellation status by a gnat’s whisker. This belt-tightening faux-Sancerre has undeniable typicity. La Vigne Blanche comes from vines grown on slopes separating the village of Chavignol from Sancerre, the terroir being an amalgam of clay and limestone chalk. Oak aged in barrel for five months on the fine lees, La Vigne Blanche is vinous with herbaceous notes of elderflower and ivy as well as a hint of kiwi fruit.
Henri Bourgeois ‘Petit Bourgeois’ Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Wine Enthusiast -“A fragrant version, with grapefruit aromas and flavours, as well as hints of gooseberry and spice. Vibrant. Drink now."
Henri Bourgeois Sancerre ‘La Vigne Blanche’ 2016
Wine Enthusiast -“From vines between 20 and 40 years old, this is a ripe, intense wine with great acidity. A good mineral texture enhances the white fruits, apricots and pineapple. The aftertaste is crisp and tight. Keep until 2017 for the wine to be at its best.”
Henri Bourgeois Sancerre ‘Jadis’ 2014
Wine Enthusiast -“This wine is made from parcels on steep slopes and produced as the family's flagship wine. At nearly three years old, it has already mellowed into a richly endowed wine, ripe with green fruits, spice and concentrated acidity. There is so much complexity to this finely structured wine that will allow it to age further. Drink from 2019.”