Domaine Serge Dagueneau & Filles - Pouilly-Fume Les Pentes 2021
If the last name sounds familiar that is because Serge Dagueneau and his daughter, Valerie, are the uncle and cousin, respectively, of the famed vintner Didier Dagueneau.
Perhaps overshadowed by his fame… or perhaps because people see the name and immediately think “There’s no way I can afford this,” Serge’s wines have not garnered similar attention.
Well, not until the 2016 vintage when his two top-end wines, now made by his three daughters, garnered staggering 94 and 93 pt reviews in the Wine Enthusiast! But after a brief run on inventory, we are back where we started, with this Dagueneau family’s incredible wines flying under the radar.
There is also confusion in distinguishing between Pouilly-Fume and Pouilly-Fuisse. Yeah… that is pretty confusing… “Fuisse” is based on the Chardonnay grape from the Burgundy region. “Fume”, like this wine, is across the Loire River from Sancerre and made entirely with the Sauvignon Blanc grape.
Oh… right… “Sancerre”… the proverbial 600 lb gorilla from the Loire, whose reputation and prevalence dominates the discussion of all things Loire.
Put it all together and you have a wine that is seriously under-appreciated. Which means value. And a deal for you!
Here we have the Les Pentes cuvee hand-harvested from a parcel of 55 year-old vines growing in Kimmeridgian marl. This “Terres blanches” or “white earth” is the same famed soil of Chablis and is the source for the wines opulence and complexity. The Dageuneau sisters focus on harvesting the grapes when physiologically ripe, ignoring the sommelier-driven fashion for austere, barely ripe wines. Good for them, because this gem is stunning!
Exotic aromas of passion fruit, litchi and mango intertwine with acacia and other floral notes, and a flinty, almost smoky, minerality. This intensity carries over to the lush, creamy-texture and complex citrus and mineral flavors that build sip after sip. This is no aperitif Sauv Blanc, folks! The perfect balance of fruit, body, minerals and acidity makes this a wonderful match with grilled fish, chicken and a slew of other goodies!
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