I occasionally get asked how we find our wines. Often it’s the result of long hours of research, tastings (which are in fact strenuous at times), and rigourous selection. But sometimes it’s just plain serendipity. My first visit to Sancerre was by chance several years ago. I was away on a long weekend with friends driving around the easternmost part of the Loire Valley when we spotted a little village with its requisite chateau atop a hill.
Finding a place to park, we set about to wandering through town. Having worked up a thirst in the drive through the vines, we spotted a darling little ivy-covered shop offering wine tastings. And as luck would have it, Lynne, the owner, was a delightful English woman (my French being in need of improvement at the time) showcasing some truly impressive wines from local producer Philippe Raimbault.
Philippe comes from a long line of talented winemakers. In addition to his skilled craftsmanship, one of the things that makes Philippe’s wines so special is his terroir. Grown on steep limestone slopes, the excellent drainage makes this perfect for producing expressive Sauvignon Blanc wines which maintain a refreshing touch of minerality. The fossils that occasionally spring forth from this ancient soil are on display in Philippe’s cave as well.
After much wandering, MUCH wine, and one wedding, I am lucky enough to call Lynne and Philippe friends today and am thrilled to be offer their wines through Griffinwell. If you’re ever in Sancerre during the spring and summer, be sure to have lunch at Les Fossiles, Lynne’s wine bar and bistrot for the best table in town. We also have a series of videos from Philippe’s cave so more to come – stay tuned!