2019 was marked by a succession of heatwaves and extreme drought, which might have resulted in heavy, clumsy wines, had not relief come in September, and perfect conditions prevailed through the harvest. In the glass, this striking old-vines Sancerre is the color of pale white gold, with flashes of platinum just at the edge. Aromas of ripe green apples and pears, white grapefruit zest, wet flagstone, and fresh flowers emerge as the wine spends time in the glass, along with suggestions of kaffir lime, white currants, and a subtle lacing of beeswax. On the palate, the wine is elegant, yet concentrated, sumptuous, yet precise, with ripe citrus and exotic fruit flavors that echo the nose, along with sun-warmed white nectarines, green mango, and sweet basil, all of which are punctuated with crunchy sea-spray minerality throughout a seemingly endless finish. Drink now for the wine's electrifying energy and primary fruit, or stash in a cool cellar for five years (or more—the 1996 we tasted with Etienne was still very much alive).
About this wine producer: Etienne Daulny farms over twenty small parcels in Sancerre, including fifty-year-old vines in La Perrière and Les Bois Butteaux in the town of Verdigny, and a steep plot in Les Monts Damnés in Chavignol, regarded by many as the most important vineyard in all of Sancerre. The diversity of soil types, elevations and exposures allow for wines of tremendous complexity and character, ensured by his brother Bertrand’s rigorous protocol in the cellar. The resulting wines are fresh and vibrant, with an accompanying structure and richness found in only the best expressions of the appellation.