Exploring the Centre Loire (2) Domaine Bernard Fleuriet, Sancerre

Website: https://www.fleuriet-sancerre.com/

Bernard Fleuriet is one of Sancerre’s most interesting producers in the region, and we met with Matthieu Fleuriet who’s in charge of the cellar. By coincidence, the previous evening we’d ordered a bottle of one of these wines from a restaurant, and been very impressed. So it was nice to be there a day later to see what’s going on.

Matthieu Fleuriet

Matthieu’s father Bernard began the domaine in 1991 along with Benoît, his other son. They started with just 1.5 hectares, and this grew to 4 hectares, all of which went to the cooperative. Then in 2002 Matthieu joined, and they began producing their own wines. They now have 35 hectares of vines, 5 in Menetou-Salon and 30 in Sancerre.

All of these are farmed biodynamically, and they were certified by Demeter in 2021. They’d been faming organically before this, certified since 2013.

The cellar is quite stunning, with no stainless steel except for tanks used for blending. Elevage is a mix of Nombot concrete, Tava ceramics and then lots of foudres. The winery is on three different levels, making transfer by gravity rather than pumping possible.

Everything is hand harvested into bins. The whites are whole bunch pressed in an inert environment (they use nitrogen to protect the must in the press and on its journey to tank. No sulfites are used during elevage, and there’s one cuvée, Pur Jus, that is bottled without any sulfite additions.

The wines are now sealed with a closure that looks like DIAM, but with plant-based glue not polyurethane glue. It’s called SUBR, and it’s a collaboration between Cork Supply and Vinventions.


Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Menetou-Salon 2022 France
All concrete. Textured and finely mineral with subtle chalky undertones and nice pear and citrus. Finely textured with some nice yellow fruits, showing a sense of finesse and delicacy. Lovely balance here. 93/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Sancerre 2022 France
50% caillottes, 40% terres blanches (argile calcaire), 10% silex, in a mix of concrete and wood tanks. Fine, delicate and quite mineral with lovely texture and brightness. Has some lemon and yellow plum with a lovely acid line. Pure and mineral with some taut citrus. Not showy, but with a lovely core of citrus fruit and keen acidity. 93/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Les Pierres Sancerre 2022 France (tank sample)
Just from silex soils, spends 1 year in amphora. 20 mg/l sulfites just before bottling. Wonderful aromatics here with a chalky edge and lovely melon, citrus and elderflower hints. The palate has a lovely chalky character with exotic fruit, but also some freshness. Fine grained, detailed and utterly delicious. Bright and linear with some grapefruit, too. 95/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Côte de Marloup Sancerre 2022 France (tank sample)
This is the first vineyard they planted in 1991, and it is made in concrete eggs. There are 10 cm of terre blanche, then limestone bedrock, so very shallow soils. There’s some depth and concentration here with pear, melon and lemon with some chalky minerality very evident. Has some structure to the fruit with lovely intensity and texture. This has amazing texture. So lovely. 95/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Côte de Marloup Sancerre 2016 France
Taut and fine still with a grapefruit and mandarin nose and some crystalline notes. The palate is grainy and chalky, and still so fresh with brightness and liveliness. Fine and chalky with a lovely mouthfeel, showing purity and even a hint of mint on the finish. 95/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Sancerre Tradition 2013 France
Still so fresh and mineral, showing bright citrus and pear fruit. Balanced and youthful; chalky and mineral. Shows delicacy and finesse with lightness and delicacy. 94/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils La Baronne Sancerre 2022 France (tank sample)
55 year old vines grown in clay soils, and this spends one year in barrel. Complex, vivid and intense with good acidity as well as rich pear, peach and mandarin fruit with some wax and citrus character. Subtle nut and wax characters as well as bold, rich fruit. I love the contrast between the ripe rich fruit and the fresh acidity. Lots of character here. 95/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Pur Jus Sancerre 2022 France (tank sample)
From clay soils, no added sulfites, just the heart of the press, raised in concrete eggs. A hint of apple on the nose with bright citrus fruit, showing some exotic citrus and pear fruity, as well as lovely mineral detail around the fringes of the palate. Stony, vivid and quite exotic, this is very appealing. 94/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Sancerre Rosé 2022 France
Nice mid-pink colour. Attractive with a sappy cherry edge to the bright pear and citrus fruit. Dry and quite mineral with nice balance and palate weight. Satisfying. 89/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Menetou-Salon Rouge 2022 France
Bottled a month ago. This year no added sulfites. Argile calcaire soils (marnes kimmeridgiennes), aged in wood tanks. Very fine raspberry and red cherry fruit with a nice chalky edge to the fruit. Ripe and expressive with lovely fruit focus. There’s a sense of finesse and drinkability here with finesse and texture, finishing bright with a nice acid line. This is quite lovely. 93/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Sancerre Rouge 2022 France
This is a mix of caillottes, terre blanches and a bit of silex. No sulfites this year. 30% whole bunch. Lovely structure here with chalky texture and bright cherry and berry fruit. This has focus and brightness with good acidity and a bit of tannin. Has beautifully ripe fruit but also great balance. There’s a purity and refinement to this wine. 94/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Sancerre Rouge Tradition 2010 France
This is fine, supple and elegant with fine-grained structure and notes of cherries and herbs, as well as some fine spices. This has refinement, silkiness and a herby twist. 92/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Les Saurins Sancerre Rouge 2022 France (barrel sample)
Whole cluster, no sulfites, 1 year in amphora. Beautiful aromatics here with sweet strawberries, herbs, pepper and raspberries. The palate is fresh and concentrated with firm but fine structure under the sweet red fruits. Lots of tannin, but it works well with the sweet but focused raspberry and cherry, with a hint of pomegranate on the finish. This is quite remarkable. Just a baby, but already delivering a lot of pleasure. So distinctive. 96/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Anthocyanes Sancerre Rouge 2022 France (barrel sample)
Marn soils, mainly clay, with chalk underneath. This is from a new barrel: normally 80% new oak in the blend with 20% amphora. Rounded and dense, spicy and tannic with lots of new oak character evident. Real intensity and focus: mineral and spicy. 95/100 – The same wine from amphora (Tava): concentrated, tannic and fresh with grainy structure and lovely intensity and focus. This is grippy and refined. Youthful. 95/100

Bernard Fleuriet et Fils Anthocyanes Sancerre Rouge 2012 France
So intense. Slightly closed and taut on the nose but smoky and mineral on the palate with a savoury, spicy edge. There are notes of blood and iodine, and bright acidity. Linear and focused with amazing intensity and a hint of beetroot, too. This has developed in very interesting ways. 95/100

UK agent is Corney & Barrow