Guide to the Loire regions

Quincy

Grower Profiles

Domaine Trotereau
Pierre Ragon works out of a ramshackle collection of cellars and outbuildings; a combination of the ancient (a small, vaulted cellar dates back to 1830 and serves as storage for bottles and an impromptu tasting room) and the improvised, notably a converted 12 metre ‘reefer’ container adapted as a holding cellar for wines being prepared for bottling. The courtyard and warren of cellars are a mess, with abandoned remnants of old cars and farm machinery. To the first time visitor, it’s beyond comprehension that this cellar is producing perhaps the most interesting wines in the appellation. For anyone who knows of the Cotats in Chavignol, there are some direct comparisons to be drawn. Ragon is both quietly spoken and painfully shy, spending most of his time gazing at his feet whilst conversing, mostly in grunts and mono-syllables. His humble demeanor could be interpreted as that of a simpleton, but underneath all this self-deprecation is a very capable vigneron who is now in the twilight of his career. 

Ragon’s ancestors have been established in the Berry since at least 1700, with Pierre the fifth generation to work in this particular cave. The domaine was established at the end of the 19th Century by Albert Trotereau, who touted his wines to the military establishments and back street bars in nearby Bourges. He was succeeded by his son, Marcel, who joined Albert in 1940, inheriting five hectares of vines. It was growers like Marcel who introduced Quincy to a wider audience, selling his wines to the likes of Le Taillevent, a Paris institution. The domaine passed to Pierre, via the maternal line, in 1973 and he has been installed here ever since.

There are now a total of 13 hectares, the oldest of which is a 3ha parcel of vines planted by Albert in 1905. This is hand harvested and bottled as Vieilles Vignes although it is not necessarily produced every vintage (there was no 2002, for example). The mainstay of the domaine is ten hectares of vines, planted between 1985 and the present, that form the basis of the cuvée Tradition, made from a combination of both indigenous and cultured yeasts.

The parallels with Cotat extend beyond the character of the man himself. Ragon picks late; he starts only when most other vignerons are finishing. This leads to wines that would be considered atypical by many Quincy drinkers - ripe and often supported by some residual sugar - they are certainly more at home in the context of food and deserve to see some age in bottle (although Ragon traditionally releases his wines later than his peers anyway). My visit to Domaine Trotereau (in June 2010) saw Pierre generously opening examples back to the 2000 vintage to demonstrate the durability of his wines. These are not facile wines for the instant gratification of the Sauvignon-fad drinker. These are serious and deserve to be sought out.   

Domaine Trotereau
Pierre Ragon
Route de Lury
Quincy
T/F: + 33 2 48 51 32 23
p-ragon@hotmail.fr

 

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