Henri Bourgeois Sancerre d’Antan 2020


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“In Sancerre, flint soils are in the minority and typically give wines that are not as tender as those on chalk-based vineyards. This provides an upright structure, meaning they are usually last in a lineup at a winery. And yet, while the 2019 Sancerre Cuvée d’Antan is very direct, with its firm line on the finish, it’s still full-bodied, silky-smooth and amazingly rich. It’s fermented entirely in older oak barrels and spends a year on lees, which certainly has something to do with its delectable texture. There’s the merest hint of smokiness on the finish too. Drinking window: 2023-2030. 91-94 points

Based in the village of Chavignol, Domaine Henri Bourgeois is one of Sancerre’s biggest and most savvy producers. Not only does it have parcels in some of the finest vineyards in Sancerre, but it also produces wines from Pouilly-Fumé and other Centre-Loire appellations like Menetou-Salon, as well as Marlborough, New Zealand. The entry-level styles offer a clean, crisp, uncomplicated expression of their appellations, but things get more interesting higher up the scale. If you want to discover the spectrum of terroirs, whether it’s Kimmeridgian marls (try the cuvées Le MD de Bourgeois and Jadis), chalky clay (Les Côtes aux Valets) or flint (Les Ruchons), the Bourgeois tasting room would be a good place to start. The on-site restaurant is also worth putting on your must-dine-at list in the region, dishing up possibly the best beef tartare I’ve ever had, as well as the full spectrum of Chavignol cheese.”

Rebecca Gibb, Vinous (08/21)