Francois Crochet

The Story

The first time I met François, he was very quiet. Then, I made the mistake of telling him that his French was articulate and very clear- a much easier accent to understand than those from the south of the France. He smiled, then an eruption of extremely intense French came at me like a philosophical freight train. His bright blue laser eyes dug in and his mouth was moving a mile a minute. It was that moment that I understood how intense of a perfectionist François is. He is one of the most passionate people I have ever met.

François graduated from the famous enology school in Beaune, France. After school, he cut his teeth by working at Domaine Bruno Clair. François took over his father’s winery not too long ago and has been turning heads everywhere, first in France and now here. He is one of the first to pick in Sancerre so the acidity of his wines rage. Counterintuitively, the wine doesn’t have the green pepper notes that one would expect from wines harvested so early. I don’t know how he does it, but the wine finds such a perfect balance of power, beauty and finesse.

Lay of the Land

Sancerre is one of the most famous places in France for white wine. It is located on the left bank of one of France’s most famous rivers, the Loire. Sancerre is one of the fastest selling wines in the market because they offer great value for the price. While Sancerre makes red wines from the Pinot Noir grape, it is most famous for the white Sancerre made from Sauvignon Blanc.

The Sancerre region sits on top of a series of hills and small valleys that were once under the ocean. The ocean deposited all sorts of calcium rich shells from ancient sea-life. In the case of Sancerre, the most famous rock here is called Kimmeridgian, which is made primarily of an ancient tiny sea creature that closely resembles today’s oyster. The rest of the vineyard land is a mixture of limestone marl, chalk and flint. One can also find quite a lot of red and brown clay soils that are clearly marked with a good dose of iron.

Le Chene Marchand

Francois Crochet - 2018 Sancerre Blanc, ‘Le Chene Marchand’

Price: $51.00
Size: 750ml
Availability: 

24+ in stock

Type of Wine: White
Style: High acid, Mineral

The Wine

If there were ever a hierarchical classification of Sancerre, there is no doubt that Le Chêne Marchands would share the top spot with but a few others. Straight out of the bottle it’s polished and exhibits a complex range of aristocratic mineral notes, friendly but taut citrus and white stone fruits, sweet herbs, fresh grasses with an immense amount of purity and laser-sharp focus. Sometimes Le Chêne Marchands seems almost too multi-dimensional, too good at everything. But with every swirl and sip another intriguing layer of aroma and taste springs from the glass. The soils are what start this stunning wine on its course; its forty-year-old vines are planted on a beautifully balanced soil of clay, marne and small limestone pebbles. Wines grown on this limestone formation tend to be brighter, beautiful, less intense and the most accessible for earlier consumption compared to those on the limestone bedrock known as terres blanches (the same Kimmeridgian marls found in Chablis), or those from silex bedrock in the south and eastern part of the appellation. The combination of this south-facing, high altitude, wind-exposed plateau and the density of limestone rocks (that they call “caillottes”) unearthed from below, help to electrically charge this wine. In the cellar, the wine is polished out in time in an old forty-hectoliter tronconic French oak vat and bottled at the end of the summer following the harvest.

About The Wine

If there were ever a hierarchical classification of Sancerre, there is no doubt that Le Chêne Marchands would share the top spot with but a few others. Straight out of the bottle it’s polished and exhibits a complex range of aristocratic mineral notes, friendly but taut citrus and white stone fruits, sweet herbs, fresh grasses with an immense amount of purity and laser-sharp focus. Sometimes Le Chêne Marchands seems almost too multi-dimensional, too good at everything. But with every swirl and sip another intriguing layer of aroma and taste springs from the glass. The soils are what start this stunning wine on its course; its forty-year-old vines are planted on a beautifully balanced soil of clay, marne and small limestone pebbles. Wines grown on this limestone formation tend to be brighter, beautiful, less intense and the most accessible for earlier consumption compared to those on the limestone bedrock known as terres blanches (the same Kimmeridgian marls found in Chablis), or those from silex bedrock in the south and eastern part of the appellation. The combination of this south-facing, high altitude, wind-exposed plateau and the density of limestone rocks (that they call “caillottes”) unearthed from below, help to electrically charge this wine. In the cellar, the wine is polished out in time in an old forty-hectoliter tronconic French oak vat and bottled at the end of the summer following the harvest.