Sébastien Brunet is a quiet and unassuming man. He took over the family business 2006, after the untimely passing of his father, Michel. The pair had worked together for six harvests following Sébastien’s graduation from the lycée viticole in Amboise, where he had studied under the figure-head of the nouvelle génération vouvrillon, Vincent Carême.
Michel had inherited some three hectares of vines from his father in 1974 and had quietly built up the domaine to 15 hectares by the time of his death. Some of these holdings are actually rented rather than owned, coming from Michel’s brother, Jean, who is now in retirement. In the past few years Sébastien has been converting to organic viticulture.
The vineyards stretch along the valley of the Brenne, a small tributary that runs perpendicular to the Loire, with vines on both the premier côteau and the plateau behind. The most northerly plots are in the village of Reugny and follow the course of the Brenne down through Chançay.
Everything is harvested by hand, and the winemaking process sees as little intervention as possible. Brunet implements a slow, gentle extraction in a pneumatic press, to ensure the capture of the best quality juice. Settling is slow and without the use of enzymes and, after 36 hours, the wines are allowed to begin their fermentation using only indigenous yeasts. As with all classic Vouvray, malolactic fermentation is never sought and very rarely occurs.
A wonder, complex wine, beautifully floral with notes of chalk and minerals. A salty tang gives tension to the wine and the finish is long and lingering.
Perfect with either fish or white meat in creamy sauces, as well as cheeses –Swiss Gruyère or Comté.