Domaine Laporte is an important property in Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre in the Loire Valley. It was purchased in 1985 by Jean-Marie Bourgeois, a young, dynamic Sancerre winegrower, who extensively renovated the cellars and replanted the vineyards. Together, the Domaines Laporte and Bourgeois represent one of the largest producers of Sancerre; M. Bourgeois travels extensively and has even purchased a property in Marlborough, New Zealand. The wines are exported around the world.
There are several vineyards within the domaine, that grow Sancerre red, white and rosé. The largest Sancerre holding, Domaine Rochoy, is a parcel of some 25 acres in the township of Saint-Satur, located a few kilometers to the northwest of Sancerre proper. The soil is flint, called “silex,” and the vines are well exposed to the morning sun. Stylistically this is a subtle Sancerre, offering polish and elegance as opposed to overpowering Sauvignon fruit; it is an ideal food wine and makes a fine apéritif. There is a small section planted in Pinot Noir that gives a fruity, scented red wine called Les Royaux. Finally, there are two deluxe white cuvées made from old vines: Grand Rochoy, from a 7-acre parcel in the best section of the vineyard, and L’Ultime du Rochoy, a selection of the finest lots, 40% barrel fermented, given longer aging sur lie and not bottled until a year after the harvest. As the name implies, it is the ultimate in Rochoy.
Three other Sancerre vineyards complete the Domaine Laporte: Lacresle de Laporte, which is grown in the twin townships of Verdigny and Saint-Satur, and Les Grandmontains, a new vineyard acquired in 1997 that lies close to Domaine Rochoy and shares many of the same traits. At the top of the scale, inspired by the recent deluxe cuvée concept in the Sancerre district, is the Clos la Comtesse in Chavignol. Like most Chavignols, this is a powerful Sancerre that shows the fruity elegance of Sauvignon while keeping its incomparable finesse. The vineyard has an ideal southern exposure, and after a cool fermentation in tanks, the wine receives some sur lie aging. Recently it has won many medals in France and abroad.
Across the Loire in Pouilly-Fumé, Domaine Laporte owns two other domaines: Les Duchesses, in the commune of Saint-Laurent de l’Abbaye on chalk-flint soil, a soft, subtle Pouilly-Fumé; and La Vigne de Beausoppet in Pouilly-sur-Loire, which is given a partial barrel fermentation. Each has a high proportion of old vines. The wines are exceptionally well balanced and consistent from vintage to vintage.