François Cotat (2022)

21 March 2024
From the late 1940s, brothers Paul and Francis Cotat built an unrivalled reputation for long-lived, terroir-driven Sancerres that transcend the reputation of Sauvignon Blanc as a simple white wine for early drinking. On taking over the domaine in the mid 1990s, their sons, François and Pascal, divided the holdings and began to work independently.
Faithfully carrying on the family tradition – and in stark contrast to the heavy machinery and chemical usage adopted by many of the appellation’s vignerons – François tends 5ha of vines by hand and using meticulous organic farming across Sancerre’s finest sites.
In a converted garage-cellar in the village of Chavignol, he shuns the modern technology embraced by many of his peers, using a non-interventionist approach to vinify tiny yields of late-harvested fruit with indigenous yeasts. After ageing in ancient 600L casks, his wines are bottled according to the phases of the moon and without filtration.
From near-vertical, south-facing slopes, ‘Les Monts Damnés’ and ‘La Grande Côte’ walk a tightrope between fruit concentration and stony minerality; ‘Les Culs de Beaujeu’ – from François’ oldest vines – is powerful and deeply layered; and ‘Caillottes’ – from younger vines on pebbly soils – delicate and lacy. From 0.5ha of Pinot Noir, François produces a miniscule amount of his crystalline and ageworthy 'Chavignol' rosé.
With the domaine’s longstanding fanbase drawn to the superlative quality and affordability of its reference point Sancerres, Cotat’s bottles have become one of the Loire’s hardest allocations to secure. We are delighted to offer François’s most recent releases.
Rosé ‘Chavignol’ 2022 (£40)
From 0.5ha Pinot Noir in ‘Caillottes’. Fresh red berries and earthy minerals on a fine, chalky frame. Brilliant value. Decant well. Drink 2023-2032.
93 Points, Vinous
Sancerre ‘Caillottes’ 2022 (£42)
From young vines on flatter land east of ‘Les Monts Damnés’. A delicate, herbal expression layered with complex chalk and biscuit nuances. Drink 2023-2034+.
92 Points, Vinous
Sancerre ‘La Grande Côte’ 2022 (£55)
From a cool, north-facing slope in Amigny. Violets, florals, and grapefruit with a pronounced saline character. Long and lacy. Drink 2025-2036+.
94 Points, Vinous
Sancerre ‘Les Monts Damnés’ 2022 (£55)
From Sancerre’s greatest vineyard. Taut and energetic – its sinewy, mineral structure and savoury edge promises a serious future. Drink 2025-2038+.
95 Points, Vinous
Sancerre ‘Les Culs de Beaujeu’ 2022 (£58)
Cotat’s oldest vines (some nearly 50 years old) in Chavignol. Fragrant and open: nectarine, florals, honey. Powerful with a mineral spine. Drink 2025-2038+.
93 Points, Vinous
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