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 (very close to the famed Comtesse parcel). 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 notes that in spite of the aspect, it is one of the cooler terroirs of Monts Damnés.
This is a powerful, deep wine—reflecting both the low yields and the exposure – yet the intensely mineral soils have also brought racy freshness and the precision that is widely associated with this producer’s wines. This is probably Sancerre’s most expensive wine, and yet the quality and transparency on offer is priceless. It opens with a depth charge of chalky, salty scents—is this actually Sauvignon the taster wonders?—before settling into a potent cocktail of chewy, pristine, citrus pith and nectarine fruit, with a crunchy, salivating close. No note can capture what’s on offer. A “wow” wine.