Josh's Favorite Sancerre: Domaine Daulny Sancerre 'Le Clos de Chaudenay'

Josh's Favorite Sancerre: Domaine Daulny Sancerre 'Le Clos de Chaudenay'

Etienne Daulny's top Sancerre comes from a walled vineyard situated right next to his winery. Named Clos de Chaudenay, which loosely translates as "hot spot," this south-facing site produces a fuller, more concentrated, and more "serious" Sancerre. 

When I say "serious", I'm talking about the quality levels like that found in Vacheron, Crochet, and Thomas-Labaille. If you love Sancerre or world-class French whites, you owe it to yourself to get some of this. We were lucky to snag 5 of the 10 cases that made it to North Carolina this year. 

Daulny Clos de Chaudenay Sancerre

2020 Domaine Daulny Sancerre 'Le Clos de Chaudenay' 

"Powerful, concentrated, intensely mineralic, and one of the finest Sancerres we'll see this year!" - Josh Spurling - 95 points  

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In addition to this vineyard's southern exposure, it is underlain with Kimmeridgian limestone, the same type of soil found in Chablis and Champagne. The site also sits on a ridge that runs through some of the top terroirs in all of Sancerre. It starts in the village of Bue and runs through Chavignol and Verdigny. It is this "dirt" and this terroir that gives this Sancerre the "wow factor" in the form of power, length, and longevity.

From Monsieur Daulny's oldest vines (40 to 60 years old), he ferments in stainless steel. Post-fermentation, he ages 80% of the finished wine in stainless steel on the fine lees, with the other 20% moved to old, neutral oak barrels. This small amount of oak aging adds an incredible texture to the wine that is hard to describe. There's some serious yin and yang going on here. Full-bodied yet incredibly zesty and fully concentrated yet beautifully fresh, this must be tasted to be fully appreciated.

I could go on and on, but I need to wrap this up. The flavors are diverse and complex and they unfold over time. I would recommend decanting this one for an hour or so. That will bring out the full expression of the wine. Once it opens up, it exudes incredible aromas of lemon curd, bright tropical fruits, citrus zest, and chalky minerality. The palate is richer than most Sancerres, but this richness interplays effortlessly with the nervy acidity of the wine. 

Based on past experience, I can attest that this is the rare Sancerre that will age effortlessly for 10+ years. Trust me though, it's drinking beautifully right now. With our loyal legion of Sancerre lovers, those 7 cases are not going to last long. Drink this beautiful white with baked cod and herbed lemon butter, a classic pairing if ever there were one.

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Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville