2018 Didier Dagueneau Buisson Renard
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.
Buisson Renard is a cool, mid-slope terroir on the southwest side of the Saint-Andelain slope. Here the soils are a mixture of clay and flint (or silex, as the French call it). This was barrel fermented and aged in Dagueneau’s bespoke, cigar-shaped barrels (450 and 600 litres) which are designed to increase lees contact.
Returning in 2018 after 2017 was wiped out by frosts, this is an intense, wild 2018 Buisson Renard, like an untamed head of curls. In clear evidence at this early stage, it has floral and boxwood characters and a nutty oak-derived influence. There's even an intriguing note of peppermint on the sinewy, lengthy finish. In a mid-weight, linear style with a firm, phenolic finish that almost requires knife and fork. This needs more time in bottle to shed its austere frame, but if you're not in a hurry... Drink 2023 - 2033.
Rebecca Gibb MW - Vinous