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Sébastien Riffault

Sébastien Riffault, look no further, it’s him, the one and only 100% natural winemaker in Sancerre. His estate, Domaine Etienne et Sébastien Riffault, is located in Sury-en-Vaux. There Sébastien works his soils with horses, uses zero chemicals in the vines, and farms biodynamically. If is approach recalls that of Alexandre Bain, it’s perhaps not surprising to know the two are not only neighbours but close friends. But Sébastien goes farther still with his wines, and their identity is more natural. In the past, he has often been accused of making wines that were too oxidative, or even deviant... But as the elders of Sancerre know very well, in the past, Sancerres did indeed offer such wide aromatic palettes. Today, though, the thrilling juice that Sébastien sells is all but incomparable to the Sauvignon we’ve come to know, with its tart, standardised flavours. If only there were more to go around. Sébastien often macerates his Sauvignon on its skins, and experiments with long barrel maturation... Once their malolactic fermentation is over, the minerality in his wines becomes radiant. If his cuvées have rather baffling names, it’s because they are in Lithuanian, the mother tongue of his partner: Akméniné = made of stone; Auksinis = gold, golden; Skeveldra = stone shard; Raudonas = red.

Sébastien Riffault



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