Jacky Blot, the esteemed Touraine-based winemaker, passed away on Monday (15 May) following a brief illness, according to his family.
Blot spent 10 years as a paratrooper before getting into the wine business. He initially worked as a wine broker before settling in Touraine in the Loire Valley in 1989, when he purchased Domaine de La Taille Aux Loups in Montlouis.
In 2002, Blot expanded his business by acquiring Domaine de La Butte in Bourgueil, allowing him to produce red and white wines under four appellations.
His portfolio ran the gamut from bone dry sparkling wines to decadent sweet wines, and he was widely regarded as one of France’s most talented winemakers.
For the last 10 years, he has overseen 70 hectares in Montlouis, Vouvray and Bourgueil in tandem with his son, Jean-Philippe.
Wine writer Jane Anson described Blot’s famous Triple Zéro, made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes grown on 50-year-old vines, as ‘one of the world’s great-value sparkling wines’.
His botrytised wines and cuvées, such as Rémus and Romulus, also garnered high praise, and he is the only Touraine winemaker to obtain a five-star review in the Bettane et Desseauve guide.
Domaine de La Taille Aux Loups is just 11km from Vouvray, so the house speciality is Chenin Blanc, but Blot drew great inspiration from Burgundy too.
Many of its wines follow a single-vineyard, terroir-driven approach, with a focus on organic viticulture.
Blot also earned acclaim for producing high-quality Cabernet Franc from Bourgueil, displaying a great deal of versatility as a winemaker.
He and his wife, Joëlle, opened wine cellars across the region, followed by a restaurant named Le Bistrot des Belles Caves in Tours, which is renowned for its remarkable wine list.
Aside from his love of fine wine, he was a man of culture, with a fondness for the opera.
He is survived by Joëlle, his children and several grandchildren, and his legacy will live on through the wines produced by Jean-Philippe and the teams at Domaine de la Taille aux Loups and Domaine de la Butte.