Loire Valley

A jovial man, François Cotat is one of the most venerable wine producers in the Loire. Often considered ‘atypical’ to be labelled as Sancerre, his distinctive and unforgettable wines are amongst the first-class wines in the appellation and are most certainly expressive of their terroir.  

Since the 1940s, the Cotat brothers Francis and Paul produced a single cuvée in the same cellar, but bottled it under two separate labels. When retiring in the early 90s, the brothers turned their family domaine over to their sons, François and Pascal, respectively.

François Cotat’s vineyards are located in the top-rated village of Chavignol, where they lie on the chalky, mineral slopes of the legendary ‘Mont Damnés’. The steepness of the slopes requires gruelling and manual tending of the vines.

While not organically certified, Cotat’s practices are more or less according to organic principles. He does not treat his vines with pesticides; he uses only indigenous yeasts for fermentation; and he follows the lunar cycle for racking. Often the last to harvest, Cotat practices the old traditional winemaking techniques in his tiny spartan cellar, located at the bottom of the village’s back street. 

Although unconventional, François Cotat’s wines have a round mouth feel and texture. They are rich and dense, yet vibrant and characterful, exhibiting an extraordinary minerality, and a stunning precision.  They are unquestionably unique, distinctive and they are famously acclaimed for their incredible longevity.

Profile © Françoise and Seán Gilley

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