- BlendSauvignon Blanc
- WinemakerBenoit Chauveau
- RegionLoire Valley
Domaine Chauveau Coteaux du Giennois Blanc Silex 2022
Domaine Benoit Chauveau is a long-time First Bottle favorite. They make beautiful expressions of sauvignon blanc from the various terroirs of the Loire Valley, including Sancerre, Pouilly Fume, Pouilly sur Loire, and here – with this 91 point stunner from a hilltop in the Coteaux du Giennois. For just $17.95 – this is a fantastically crisp, fresh, and mineral-driven white that will put any top-notch Sancerre to the test! If you scored the last vintage – you know – this is one of the best under-the-radar whites in the world today!
The Chauveau family has been farming the region since the 1800s, yet it was the efforts of the current generation, Benoit Chauveau, that united the scattered parcels and shifted focus solely towards grape growing and wine production. He began with the purchase of his parents’ parcel in 1995, adding on his grandparents’ holdings a couple of years later. Today, the domaine stretches across 17 hectares throughout the Loire Valley, including 2 hectares of sauvignon blanc in the Coteaux du Giennois used for this wine.
With the prices of sauvignon blanc from neighboring Pouilly Fume and Sancerre skyrocketing, in many cases doubling in the last decade, it is up-and-coming regions like Coteaux du Giennois that we look to for stellar wines and incredible deals. Only one hilltop in this small appellation has the highly sought-after flinty, "Silex" soils, and that is precisely where Benoit staked his claim. When we last tasted with him a few months back in Paris, we were blown away by the quality of this portfolio – all the wines, but especially his purely vibrant sauvignon blancs. It is not hyperbolic to say – these are some of the VERY BEST iterations of sauvignon blanc ANYWHERE in the world – and we dare you to put these blind into any tasting of the grape – at virtually any price!We love the clean and piercing style of this wine with plenty of ripe Eureka lemon, lime zest, tangerine, and Bosc pear aromas and flavors, but it is the signature wet slate and struck flint notes that make the comparisons to Sancerre so appropriate. Coteaux du Giennois is a very small appellation with only about 470 acres planted, which surrounds the village of Gien. Benoit makes two different wines from their parcels here, determined by the soils – “Calcaire” and this “Silex.” This wine hails from all shallow, alluvial, limestone, and chipped flint soils, and man, it is SO GOOD! 2022 is a vintage that is contending for the best Loire vintage in several decades – with minimal frost damage (2021 was horrific), a bit of rain in the mid-summer to nourish the vines, and a warm and dry end to the growing season that showcased fantastic ripeness, and little to no rot issues. The yields were relatively high for the first time in a few years, and the wines are showing a fantastic balance of minerality and bright fruit flavors. It’s intensely clean and incredibly pure...simply classic sauvignon blanc that stuns at this amazing price! Grab a case, you will not regret it!