Stéphane Cherrier, the Sauvignon master at the helm of Domaine Paul Cherrier, is part of a new generation of young Sancerre winemakers who are changing the face of this traditional appellation. Along with other young talent such as the winemakers at Domaine Vacheron and Domaine Claude Riffault, Stéphane spends much more time working his vineyards than his father’s generation did– all in an effort to bring balance back to an appellation whitewashed by decades of chemical products and synthetic treatments. In a sense, it’s relearning how to do things the way they were once done. We first met Stéphane after hearing his name mentioned at Domaines Vacheron and Riffault – both praised his work in the vineyard as well as in the cellar.
Domaine Paul Cherrier is located in the tiny, picturesque village of Verdigny, just northwest of the town of Sancerre. Stéphane’s hilltop parcels are planted on rocky Kimmeridgian limestone, that ancient ocean bed that underpins the Grand Cru vineyards of Chablis, the hillsides of the Pays d’Aube, and the (predominantly western) portion of Sancerre. This terroir produces wines of incredible length, purity, and minerality. The amount of clay in the soils varies by parcel and elevation, providing Stéphane with richer, fruitier Sauvignon Blanc as well as fruit that is more linear and mineral.
Stéphane currently farms 13 hectares. Ten of those are planted to Sauvignon Blanc and three are planted to Pinot Noir. For the first few years of his career, he had been selling off most of his wine to be bottled under the name of more famous winemakers. Now he is steadily growing his own label, Domaine Paul Cherrier, selecting the best tanks and vats to be bottled at the estate. There is virtually no manipulation to the wines and Stéphane strongly prefers Sauvignon that is aged in tank and large barrels than that aged in barrique. Although he is used to heavy hitting on the rugby field (one of his real passions), his wines are delicate, defined, and very precise. We are proud to represent this young star-in-the-making.
Domaine Paul Cherrier is sold through Verity exclusively in Pennsylvania.