Etienne Daulny is latest in a ridiculously long line of Daulnys to grow Sauvignon Blanc in Sancerre. Few addresses are as good as Etienne’s in the beautiful village of Verdigny. But it is not so easy to grow grapes here; it’s cold, the soil is poor, hail is always a risk and to make great wine, you can’t make a ton of it. And they pay a lot of taxes….So, making wine here is more a labor of love than it is a great business plan. But it’s hard to argue with the results. Tasting Etienne’s racy, electric Sancerre makes it pretty obvious that there is a higher purpose to his labor.
The prize of the domaine is Le Clos De Chaudenay a single vineyard parcel of 40-year-old vines facing southwest at high elevation above the village of Verdigny. It’s a unique micro-climate, a bit warmer than the rest of chilly Verdigny so Sancerre from this plot shows more weight, with ripe citrus and peach fruit. The mineral soil adds aromatic complexity, amazing tension and incredible length with an almost salty finish.