When I took over a small wine shop in Paris in 1971, one of my most pressing tasks was to upgrade the Sancerre. I decided on Vincent Delaporte in Chavignol, and he remained my steady supplier until I sold the shop in 1988. Charles Lea, who worked for me in Paris in 1977, straight out of school, still sells the Delaporte wines at Lea & Sandeman. If you discover a good producer, you don’t let him go. Vincent Delaporte himself, still hale and hearty in his eighties, passed the reins to his son Jean-Yves, whose first vintage was 1983. From the 8-hectare estate I knew, entirely on the steep chalky slopes of Chavignol, Jean-Yves has added a further 12ha, much of it on the silex or more clayey soil, which adds body and weight to the liveliness of Chavignol. He has also created a Prestige Cuvée - named Maxime after his wife - from a selection of old vines vinified in barrel. All the wines in the tasting came directly from the family cellars which are still in the centre of Chavignol. Steven Spurrier.

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Written by Decanter