Domaine Lucien Crochet
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Country of Origin: France
Location: Sancerre, Loire
People: Gilles & Laurence Crochet, Owners & Winemakers
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Lucien Crochet merged the two estates of Lucien Picard (his father-in-law) and André Crochet (his father) to create Domaine Lucien Crochet. Monsieur Picard was one of the very first growers in the Sancerre district to begin bottling his wines and selling them primarily to restaurants in Paris. Lucien Crochet expanded the work of his father-in-law and, over a 30-year period, also expanded the domaine so that it now encompasses 35 hectares of vineyards, almost all of which are located in the village of Bué with smaller holdings in the neighboring villages of Vinon and Crézancy. Today, Lucien's son Gilles oversees the estate with his wife Laurence.
26 hectares are planted to Sauvignon Blanc and the remaining 9 hectares are planted to Pinot Noir. The soils are clay and limestone from the Oxfordian and Kimmeridgian eras. The vineyards are on slopes of varying severity and run from south-east to south to southwest in their exposure to the sun. Since 1989 only organic supplements have been used in the vineyards. 60% of the estate’s vineyards have grass growing between the rows with the soil being worked (hoed and plowed) just at the base of the vines, while 25% of the vineyards are fully plowed and hoed. The harvest is manual. There is a substantial range of wines produced at the Domaine Lucien Crochet.
"The Crochet family have been making wine in the village of Bué for generations but the current steward, Gilles, along with his wife Laurence, has been at the helm since 1983. Having trained in Dijon, Crochet explains formal training may have given him a greater technical understanding of wine but little has changed: “I do the same things as my father but I know why.” The domaine covers 35 hectares of vineyard on clay-limestone soils and it was an early adopter of organic viticulture, beginning the conversion in 1989: “Everybody in Sancerre said Crochet was crazy!” All the grapes are hand harvested before being whole bunch pressed, producing delicate, pure styles across the range – a manageable range of five cuvées: three whites as well as a rosé and a red. Having spent his training days working at Domaine Dujac in Burgundy, Crochet is a fan of Pinot Noir and has 9ha dedicated to the variety. His sizeable 5ha of vineyard dotted across the lieu-dit of Chêne Marchand is the source of the estate’s finest wine, which is always pure and refined with silken texture."
International Wine Cellar 10/2014
"An ancestor of this estate, Lucien Picard, began bottling his wines in 1934 and was then one of the first to sell them in Paris after the Second World War, establishing the reputation of what would later--through fusion with André Crochet--become the Domaine Lucien Crochet. Expanded over the following generations to 35 hectares, it is currently run by Lucien's son, Gilles, who met me on a balmy summer evening in Bué to taste his current releases. While the majority of his vineyards are planted with sauvignon blanc, he does have almost nine hectares of pinot noir, predominately on Kimmeridgian limestone soils. After going slowly through his 2012 whites, we also sampled another six vintages of reds, dating back to the 1998 Clos du Roy Prestige Vieilles Vignes (this wine is labelled simply "Cuvee Prestige") (92), which is one of the finest pinot noirs from Sancerre that I have ever tasted."
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