Juicy, profoundly rich, and broad on the attack, packed with white peach, ripe pear and remarkable mineral complexity
Didier Dagueneau, the “Viking on a Harley” whom we met in the unforgettable summer of 1984, pioneered a novel approach to the making of Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Dagueneau’s work began with the most rigorous viticultural protocol the valley had ever known, and ended with Burgundian barrel fermentation in 350- to 400-liter cigar-shaped casks, maximizing contact with lees, while keeping levels of S02 (sulfur dioxide) at a strict minimum.
The fame that the late, great Dagueneau’s “Silex” won had Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate lamenting that “one would think that the ‘methode Dagueneau’ should be studied and adopted by at least a few other ambitious Loire growers.”
It was, by at least one winemaker we know of ...
At the age of 23, soon after his father turned over the cellar, a young Dagueneau apprentice named Vincent Ricard conjured up a Sauvignon Blanc called “Les Trois Chênes.” Years later, Vincent continues to fashion a wine that would have made his mentor proud. “Les Trois Chênes” is one of the most-riveting barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blancs from Touraine in the Loire, near Sancerre.
The 2015 growing season was hailed as “very promising” across the Loire Valley by Master of Wine Jancis Robinson. She reported: “Touraine saw very low yields but excellent quality, as did Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.”
The 2015 Vincent Ricard “Les Trois Chênes” is pale lemon in color. The aromas are high-toned and piercing, infused with a mix of stone-fruits, white flowers, and a blast of minerality, tinged with sweet spice. Juicy, profoundly rich, and broad on the attack from fermentation and eight months of aging in barriques, packed with white peach, ripe pear, and remarkable mineral complexity, gently kissed with sweet spices. The finish is textbook “Silex,” vibrant and bracing. Drink now-2021.
If you ask Vincent Ricard to compare his barrel-fermented, St.-Andelain flint Sauvignon Blanc to Didier’s “Silex,” he’ll just laugh: “I’m just an apprentice. Didier was Picasso.” By now, Vincent is being too humble. Consider the unusual, clear directive that Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave its readers regarding Vincent’s 2015: “You should taste the Les Trois Chênes, an intense Sauvignon from partly 70-year-old vines that is simply gorgeous.”
Released at $26. The only ancient-vine “méthode Dagueneau” Sauvignon Blanc “you should taste” is just $17.99 per bottle — EXCLUSIVELY on WineAccess. Shipping included on 6. No dawdling.
I purchase this wine in every vintage and this is one of the finest vintages of this wine to date.
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