The Other Side of Cotat: 2013 Francois Cotat Sancerre Caillottes

Posted by Ian McFadden

François Cotat's Sancerres offer grandeur and a life in the cellar that few, if any, Sauvignon Blancs enjoy.

Cotat is famous for the textural presence and often outright richness of his Sancerres. While displaying some family resemblance, Caillottes works on an entirely different register. It's an earlier drinking, more lithe and linear bottling. Of course, earlier drinking for Cotat is relative. As fun as it is to drink today, it will improve over the next five years plus.

Les Caillottes is sourced from a soil type of the same name. Caillottes is pebbly limestone that's pretty much devoid of soil which produces Sancerre with a feisty mineral core beneath a charming layer of fruit. Cotat's vines here are young (somewhere around fifteen years old) and planted at high density. The first Caillottes bottling was in 2005.

It's with his Caillottes bottling that Cotat most overtly shows a citrus-infused, energetically chalky edge to his Sancerres. It's an expression that we love. The way that Caillottes combines refreshment and serious interest is really lovely. Vinous Media's Joel B. Payne captures Cotat's work on Caillottes generally and the 2013 in particular really well in his tasting note: "Dry, focused and pure, this Sancerre finishes with impressive clarity."

While there's no denying that Cotat's Grande Cote and Monts Damnes are the stars that you should bury in your cellar for decades, Caillottes is the bottling that you'll want to drink most often and the one best suited for short-to-mid-term drinking. It also offers plenty of value for the price.

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Ian McFadden

Director, Fine & Rare Wine

Crush Wine & Spirits