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Sébastien Riffault Akmèniné 2015

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Sancerre, Loire, France
Sauvignon Blanc
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites

The Sancerre bad boy weighs in here with a wine that perhaps represents the stepping stone between the extremities of Auksinis and his more straight (in inverted commas) Quarterons cuvée. If you're unfamiliar with the producer, Sébastien is one of those growers who pushes the envelope of what can be expected from an appellation tag; which in most cases he subverts completely, begging the question "how did he get this through as Sancerre...?" - meanwhile his droves of ardent fans pop bottle corks in unison. Riffault's wines are captivating, and certainly won't be forgotten in a hurry. For us they perfectly embody the way you can project an idea of what a wine could or should be, which in turn affects the way you interpret it. In this case, if you have a rigid notion of 'Sancerre' and put this wine down on the table expecting flinty, herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc, you will most certainly be confounded. However, if you set this preconceived notion aside and taste the wine purely on its own terms, then there's a pleasure-shaped wormhole waiting for you to fall down.

The wine is made from very ripe grapes that are partially affected with botrytis from 30 year-old vines which are then direct pressed and fermented in small oak barrels. The wine sits on its lees for 12 months and then is aged for a further two years in old barrels. Expect a ripeness and texture you never thought possible from Sauvvy B.