With 80% of their holdings in the village of Chavignol…
and the remaining 20% in the village of Sancerre, they are making some of the most structured, soulful wines in the region and have risen to be among the very top family domaines in Sancerre. In contrast to many estates in an appellation not presently known for complexity, the Noël family maintains an incredibly passionate following in France from their reputation for making wines of intensity, grace, and complexity.
Julie Noël completed her graduate studies at the Lycée Viticole de Beaune, followed by training at the Faculty of Oenology of Bordeaux where Julie obtained the National Diploma in Oenology. She also worked several vintages domestically in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Roussillon, and the Rhône Valley, as well as abroad in New Zealand. Upon returning to Sancerre, Julie joined the family farm where, in addition to her viticultural work, she is now also the winemaker after her father’s retirement.
On average, the vines for the estate Sancerre are between 25 and 40 years old, with some plots of 60+-year-old vines. Their Sancerre is a blend of vineyards from Chavignol, Sancerre, and Saint-Satur villages, which includes all 3 soil types of the region. Silex (flinty clay) plots are located in Sancerre, with Kimmeridgian clay-limestone plots called terres blanches located in Chavignol and Saint-Satur, and finally, caillottes (stony calcareous limestone) plots in Chavignol.
After an indigenous yeast fermentation in stainless steel, the wine rests in tank without bâtonnage, with only one racking, two months after fermentation, and then it is left undisturbed until bottling right before harvest.
Their two limited single-terroir selections are among the finest wines produced in Sancerre. Made in small quantities, their Cuvée Excellence comes from 60 years old vines on Caillottes soil (a stony calcareous limestone) in Chavignol in the lieu-dit of Les Bouffants. With Cuvée l’Étincelle du Loup, they are one of four producers producing a very traditional style of wine vinified in traditional acacia barrels from silex (flinty) vineyards located in l’Orme au Loup, in the town of Sancerre. The domaine also makes tiny amounts of top quality Sancerre Rouge and Rosé from Pinot Noir and joyous, quaffable Menetou-Salon.
We were fortunate to begin working with Julie Noël in 2019, as she is undoubtedly among the rising stars of the Loire Valley. With her impressive historic family vineyards and extensive winemaking experience, Julie has the blueprint to make the great Sancerre wines of the future.