Hello friends. I experienced one of the more fascinating tastings of my career this spring when one of our terrific Seattle importers celebrated their 10th anniversary by opening a vertical of Dagueneau Silex stretching back to 1994.
Besides demonstrating that Didier Dagueneau was a remarkable winemaker (he tragically died in a plane crash in 2008), it also opened my eyes to the potential for aging Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
I’ve been keeping my eyes open since for a Pouilly-Fumé or Sancerre that would fit the bill, and today we have it:
Better yet, we have it at a tariff below its release price five years after that initial release. Why the competitive tariff? Because there’s not a lot of interest (outside of my wine-addled brain), in Sauvignon Blanc with a few years of age to it.
Jerome Gueneau’s Domaine des Grandes Perrieres is located here, in the Sury-en-Vaux foothills just north of the town of Sancerre. There can’t be many places better in the world for making Sauvignon Blanc. This area contains some of the most prized soil in Sancerre: the terres blanches (white earth). This is Kimmeridgian marl: the same combination of clay, limestone, and marine fossil that is found in Chablis, and it has helped Sancerre develop a worldwide reputation for its grassy, flinty, mineral-driven whites (that reputation has also notably pushed up prices in the past decade, to where it’s now challenging to find sub-$30 bottles of Sancerre).
The grassiness of a young Sancerre is definitely present in the aromatics here, but age has added complexity, in the form of mineral, lentil, clover. It’s a nose that’s lightly funky in just the right way, and that lentil note reminds me of some aged Gruner Veltliners I have tasted (another wine that evolves in underappreciated directions). The palate finds the grapefruity acids softening up a bit but still quite vibrant, framing a lovely core of grass and mineral. It’s a bottle in a terrific place, poised right on the edge between youthfulness and maturity.
Wine & Spirits: “($25); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91pts.” [Note: this review was written in 2009, so I’d use it more as an indicator of quality than for its specific tasting notes, which have likely evolved since then.]
Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.