2020 Francois Cotat Sancerre Grande Cote
The domaine of Francois Cotat is a tiny 4 hectares, and has been making some of the most exceptional wines of the Loire since 1947. Their success and individuality can be attributed to François' intense passion for creating the finest wine possible and his exceptionally placed vineyards. Prudent viticulture combined with densely planted vines, ultra-low yields and relatively late harvesting produces fantastically flavoursome fruit. Whilst not Biodynamic, Francois uses organic fertilisers and racks according to the phases of the moon. His incredible wines develop with age and, in the best vintages, can be cellared for more than 30 years.
This vineyard is where François has his oldest vines, these days the average age is about 40 years because he has had to replant many of the very old vines as the Sauvignon is susceptible to viruses as it ages and so past 60 years old the vine is usually close to unproductive. This vineyard produces the most flamboyant wines in this collection, there are subtle notes of orchard fruit and more power but don't let that fool you as it is all aligned to incredible finesse, cool acidity and tactile minerality. These are very special bottles.
The 2020 Sancerre La Grande Côte is a fine wine with a piercing nose of floral and flint. While it may be dry, it offers a sensation of sweet fruit and high alcohol (14.5%), which Cotat compares to the ripe 2009 and 1990 vintages. Being late-picked and on a south slope, these grapes get ripe, and in this vintage, I can't help but think that the balance has been slightly knocked by this ripeness. That said, it offers delectable texture and sinew and remains an impressive wine. Tasting the 2009 Cul de Beaujeu soon after, high alcohol (15%) remains evident with bottle age. Drink 2021 - 2034.
Rebecca Gibb MW - Vinous