Didier Dagueneau, Sancerre, Le Mont Damne 2011

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With the exception of Asteroïde, which comes from a mere ten rows of vines, Le Mont Damnés is the rarest of Dagueneau's Loire wines. Finding enough quantity for an offer is almost impossible.

For years, Didier dreamed of making wine from this vineyard located in Chavignol, probably the most prestigious in the upper Loire valley. His dear friend and mentor, Edmund Vatan, provided the inspiration, and finally in the late 1990s, he had a line on a small, 1/2 hectare parcel in the heart of the vineyard. He bought it and then fought with both the local and AOC authorities for a couple years and finally was granted in 2000 with the rights to plant a small portion of the vineyard each year. Just 156 bottles imported to the west coast, this wine already shows the full potential of this vineyard. Though the vines are young, there is excellent, tense, sappy structure that can only mean a great vineyard sight. The length of this wine seems to be eternal. A chalky, but almost creamy texture pervades the mouth, with aromatics showing citrus, melon and pear. 

94 points Wine Advocate

The Dagueneau 2011 Sancerre Monts Damnes had just been given a lees-beating, so it was a bit cloudy and reduced when I tasted it; but that did not prevent it from impressing on me a profoundly delicious personality. Indeed, speaking of “beating,” an aggressive aeration really brought this to life, beginning with an effusive aromatic emanation of flowers and herbs. There is nutty richness and piquancy allied to a Chablis-like sense of herbed chicken stock and perfectly complemented by a silken texture (granted, under tactile influence of suspended lees); but at the same time, sheer juicy refreshment, levity, as well as lively interaction with notes of chalk, smoke and citrus zest make for a vibrant, energetic performance such as few Loire Sauvignons of this vintage approach. Look for this to benefit from several years in bottle and to be worth following for at least the better part of a decade.

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