Domaine Sébastien Brunet, Vouvray Brut “La Rocherie”
Domaine Sébastien Brunet, Vouvray Brut “La Rocherie”

Domaine Sébastien Brunet, Vouvray Brut “La Rocherie”

Loire Valley, France MV (750mL)
Regular price$25.00
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Domaine Sébastien Brunet, Vouvray Brut “La Rocherie”

Does today’s label explicitly tell you that Sébastien Brunet’s artisanal wines have a buzzing reputation and tremendous, across-the-board quality that greatly exceeds their cost? No, it does not, but once you put your nose and palate to the test, the high caliber of his Vouvray bottlings cannot be denied.

When the soil is brimming with life from organic farming and the wine is hand-crafted with minimal intervention, there is a profound lasting effect in the finished product. Add in the classic Champagne method, a boutique-scale production, and a $28 price tag, and the result is a feeding frenzy amongst sommeliers and Chenin Blanc purists. In other words, this is true farm-to-table Vouvray with an additional dimension that has transformed it into an extremely soft and generous sparkling wine. There’s no doubt that one can spend a lot more money on many thoroughly inferior wines in this region, so do not let the bargain-basement pricing fool you: For those who want a classic French sparkler with miles-deep minerality, creamy layers, and crackling acidity, this Vouvray Brut is your wine! Even at this low price, quantities are still limited: No more than six bottles per person!

BONUS OFFER: While the highlight today is a generously ripe and invigorating sparkling Vouvray crafted in the same manner as champagne, we also have access to a small parcel of Brunet’s “Arpent,” a still, bone-dry, high-acid, “aha moment” Chenin Blanc that should be required tasting for white-wine connoisseurs. It’d be a fantastic exercise to try both side by side. Click here to secure up to six bottles. 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Chenin Blanc is one of the world’s most chameleonic and dynamic grapes, and today we’re focused on its habitat in Vouvray. Here, you’ll find some of its most classic expressions, and Brunet’s Vouvray Brut is a sublime paragon of bone-dry, fully sparkling Chenin Blanc. Although it carries several grams of residual sugar from the dosage, it serves to balance/soften the laser beam-like acidity that pulses through this sensational wine. Balance is the operative word here—it’s what immortalized this noble grape and region.  

Sébastien Brunet is a man of subtlety who prefers to let his wines do the talking. The thoughtful, humble young vigneron took over his family’s estate in 2006 upon the passing of his father, Michel, and immediately began toiling in their vines along the Brenne river. Today, Sébastien works these 15 hectares of Certified Organic vines with a quiet sensibility and a minimalist philosophy. 

Although hand-farmed and vinified with the same level of care and minimal intervention, today’s Vouvray Brut undergoes a second fermentation in bottle, à la the famed Champagne method, to develop its carbonation. Upon completing 18 months of lees aging, it was disgorged and given a 6-7-gram dosage. The wine pours into an all-purpose stem with great vigor and unleashes a frothy mousse that takes about 10 seconds to settle down. Following a few gentle swirls, delicate ripe aromas began wafting out in the form of apricot, peach, green apple skin, yellow apple slices, citrus peel, crushed rock, flint, and orange peel with a slight almond skin nuttiness. The medium-bodied palate is supple and generously fruited but a strong mineral presence dominates on the mid-palate before crescendoing with a crash of mouthwatering acidity. This is a superb $28 treat—quality Champagne couldn’t ever hope to match this price!

Domaine Sébastien Brunet, Vouvray Brut “La Rocherie”




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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