SEBASTIEN RIFFAULT | SANCERRE
The Riffault family have been making wine in Sancerre for generations. After working with his father Etienne, Sébastien began working under his own label in 2002 and converted all vineyards to organic. Today he is running the entire estate with a total of 12 hectares. Naturally, his wines within the Sancerre appellation are quite unique, as the majority of the region picks early, to enhance the well marketed "grassy-exotic" aromas. Sébastien aims to make wines in the pure old school Sancerre style - using Sauvignon Blanc grapes partly affected by botrytis.
Old farmers often tell him the old adage 'it is never too late to pick grapes' referring to the tradition of picking very late, waiting for some botrytis to happen.
To work in such way you need to know your vineyards parcels by hard and spend more time observing the development of the rot. Timing of picking is crucial as well as sorting the grapes and discarding the grey rot.
Sébastien believes that well-balanced vineyards produce looser bunches, avoiding the accumulation of pockets of humidity within the grape bunch, which
helps in order to have less grey rot. All his wines are vinified dry and without any additives. Stability is achieved through long élevage in stainless steel and large wooden barrels.
In recent years, Sébastien also started experimenting with skin maceration, and we are extremely lucky to bring the 'Auksinis maceration’ to the UK! The cuvée names are a tribute to his wife and brother in law, who both come from Lithuania and are the only people working wih him during the year. Akmèniné - Made of stones. Skeveldra - A fragment of stone. Auksinis - Golden. Saulétas - Sunny. Raudonas - Red. Sébastien's wines are transcendental - a real cornerstone of the new old Sancerre and with a bright future ahead!