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Sébastien Riffault Les Quarterons 2016

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Sancerre, Loire, France
Sauvignon Blanc
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, minimal additional sulphites

The Sancerre bad boy weighs in here with perhaps his most accessible cuvée, and a great starting point for those looking to familiarise themselves with his style. 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.

Les Quarterons differs from Sébastien's other wines in that it is made in tanks rather than in wood, and a small amount of sulphur is used at bottling. Nevertheless this is still an extremely ripe style of Sancerre that has a wonderfully pulpy and textured mouthfeel. Start here and then work your way to Akmèniné and on to Auksinis for full effect.