2012 Domaine Daulny Sancerre
 
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A View of Sancerre Notes from the French Underground

We just returned from 23 days in France where we'd visit three-dozen cellars in the Maconnais, Beaujolais, Loire and Bordeaux. It was an eye opening trip, one that both shed light on a handful of extraordinary vintages -- and demonstrated how close one of the world's richest countries has come to the financial abyss.

Germany's call for Common Market "austerity" has sucked the wind out of weak southern European economies. The largest banks in France, heavily leveraged in Spain, Greece and Italy, seem hopelessly locked in the crosshairs. As Credit Agricole tightens its purse strings, family-owned wineries are feeling the pinch.

As to the country's restaurants and small wine shops, few are paying bills on time. "Our collection department consists of my grandmother and my great aunt! All day long, they call, only to get the runaround," we were told in the Anjou. "We're the fourth generation to farm these vines, but if we don't develop our export business, we'll also be the last!"

All of which explains why, on June 8th, when we knocked on the famous cellar door in Chaudoux (the tiny hamlet just past Verdigny-en-Sancerre), that winemaking superstar, Etienne Daulny, welcomed us right in.


Sharpening Pencils in Verdigny
"2012 was a vintage full of surprises," Etienne told us on June 8th in Verdigny. "We had a little bit of everything. An April frost that took a bite out of the crop load early on. Then, cold, rainy weather right up to mid-July. By the beginning of August, the vines were still several weeks behind and the risk of mildew was climbing. Those who had the resources to take to the vines early and often ended up with a small crop that much reminds me of 2010. And those who didn't?" Daulny shrugged his shoulders. "They did what they could."

The Daulnys share Sancerre bragging rights with the likes of Vincent Pinard, Dominique Roger, the Cotats and the Vacherons. In 2010, Etienne turned out a scintillating old-vine Sauvignon Blanc off of these limestone strewn hillsides, a bottle that would earn 92 points from Stephen Tanzer -- the highest rating the International Wine Cellar has dropped on a Sancerre in 5 years. This luscious 2012 is poised to give its 2010 cousin a run for the money.

Brilliant, pale green to the rim, infused with crisp, high-toned aromas of ripe apple and pear, gently laced with textbook anise. The attack is rich and wonderfully juicy, the short crop magnifying concentration, providing for a piercing mineral core buttressed by riveting Verdigny crispness and acidity.

Each year, up until today, this cuvee has been off limits to WineAccess. But with Sancerre's greatest domaines now turning their attention towards the export market, we finally hit pay dirt. Etienne Daulny agreed to give WineAccess a small shot. Then, we did what we do best of all. We took out the pencil sharpeners.



Tasting Notes

2012 Domaine Daulny Sancerre
"Brilliant, pale green to the rim, infused with crisp, high-toned aromas of ripe apple and pear, gently laced with textbook anise. The attack is rich and wonderfully juicy, the short crop magnifying concentration, providing for a piercing mineral core buttressed by riveting Verdigny crispness and acidity."
-- WineAccess Travel Log


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    • This is a Pre-Arrival Offer: Weather permitting, wine will begin shipping upon arrival, in September, 2013.

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