Domaine Henri Bourgeois


One of the largest producers in Sancerre, this family-run domain occupies much of the village of Chavignol, with a hotel, restaurant, tasting room, and modern gravity-feed winery located at the edge of the town where goats used to roam. Called by other vignerons half affectionately and half pejoratively “the American winery,” it has a splendid view over the steeply rising vineyard of Monts Damnés opposite. The domain has expanded steadily from its 2 ha in 1950, spreading out from Chavignol. There are eight principal cuvées of white Sancerre, two from Pouilly, and wines from other appellations in the vicinity. Going up the range, the cuvées represent distinct terroirs, mostly matured in a mix of stainless steel and old wood. The top cuvéesrepresent individual plots: I especially like Jadis from forty-year old vines in Monts Damnés, and Chapelle des Augustins from a unique plot of silex on calcareous subsoil. The range is impressive, all the way from quite traditional Sancerre with characteristic grassy notes, to wines from old vines at such ripeness that the flavor profile turns from citrus to stone fruits. Separate cuvées of Pinot Noir have been made since 1962: Les Baronnes and Les Bonnes Bouches are matured in a mixture of new and old oak, and the top cuvée, La Bourgeoise, comes from Vieilles Vignes (over 50 years old) and ages much like Burgundy. Bourgeois have also established Clos Henri in Marlborough, New Zealand, which is roughly equivalent in size.

L'abus d'alcool est dangeureux pour la santé, à consommer avec modération
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