Domaine Francis Blanchet

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From Norther Berkeley Imports: Since 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.