2017 Didier Dagueneau les Monts Damnes Sancerre
Pouilly Fumé and Sancerre are the global benchmarks for Sauvignon Blanc, and there is no bigger name or more highly regarded producer in the area than Domaine Didier Dagueneau. Now under the guidance of Didier's talented son Louis-Benjamin, the wines still follow his ethos that authentic Pouilly Fumé requires healthy fruit from low yielding, old vines to produce the purest, most intense and vibrantly fresh wine. That's not to say these wines are typical of the appellation. Given the severly low yields and approach to élevage, Dagueneau wines emphasise a creamy texture rather than bracing acidity, and combine mineral flavours with exotic fruits to supreme effect.
It was long Didier Dagueneau’s dream to make a great Sancerre from the legendary, chalky slopes of Chavignol. He was finally able to acquire a half-hectare site in the late 1990s, smack-bang in the middle of the renowned vineyard of Les Monts Damnés. He soon began planting it to his exacting specifications. This location is south-facing and extremely steep, with white soil packed with chalk. The historical name of the parcel or climat (within Monts Damnés) is Les Vignes Blanches. Dagueneau noted that in spite of the aspect, it is one of the cooler terroirs of Monts Damnés.
The Dagueneau family has been making Sancerre off the steep slopes of the Monts Damnés since the early 2000s, and it's a rather different beast than their Pouilly-Fumés. The 2017 Le Mont Damné is incredibly pure and transparent with arrow-like precision, citrus and floral nuances and some nutty influence. Precise and refined, delivering glacial purity of fruit; the Kimmeridgian terroir gives this wine line, length and direction. The lengthy finish is scented with florals, citrus and spiced apples. Lip-smacking, no-holds-barred Sauvignon. Drink 2022 - 2034.
Rebecca Gibb MW - Vinous