|Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau Fumé de Pouilly 2010
"Fresh lime and lemon – along with the bite of their pips – render Dagueneau’s 2010 Blanc Fume de Pouilly (just before bottling) refreshing and invigorating. Cut, bell-like clarity, and shimmering interchange of citrus, herb, salt, and stone lead to a ringing persistence that reels you in for the next sip, an appeal that I don’t expect will fade for at least the next half dozen years."
(David Schildknecht, Parker-Team)
"Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau has quickly come into his own, and his name on the label is not only entirely appropriate but clearly can serve as a continued guarantor that if you pay the high prices asked by this estate ever since Didier Dagueneau founded it, you will be rewarded with something impressive. Yet I don’t sense that success is going to young Dagueneau’s head, but rather that he wants both to be faithful to his father’s stylistic and viticultural legacy while recognizing part of that legacy to be perpetual innovation. (For more on the evolving methodology of this estate, consult my grower introduction in issue 190.) The practice of letting the young wines here remain for six or more months in tank after they have been assembled from barrel meant that in April I caught all of the 2010s immediately before they were bottled. Picking in 2011, relates Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau, began September 12, even earlier than it had for 2007, “principally in two huge passages five or six days apart. It was very, very rapid this year, as we had a bit of rot in the vines. But for that reason also we had to do triage.” And when he characterizes his general aim as being to achieve “wines that are not aromatically meager and with a compromise between richness and freshness,” the 2011s offer an eloquent (and for their vintage quite exceptional) example. Dagueneau compares 2010 with “that grand classic 2002,” and emphasizes the quality of acidity that goes hand in hand with its abundance. I had chance during my April visit to re-taste the 2009s, now from bottle, and these lived up to the billing I had given them in issue 190: the Blanc Fume de Pouilly multifaceted, rich yet vivacious and infectiously juicy, performed at the upper end of my projection; the Pur Sang a notch superior, being more polished and rich if no more wafting or elegant. The hailed-on Buisson Renard preserved some of the exuberant fruit on which I commented in issue 190, but today honey and wheat germ along with a hint of caramelization point toward white Burgundy. I scored this on the low side of my projection for lacking the poise and polish of its collection’s other members. The clarity and composure displayed from bottle by the 2009 Silex – for all of its richness of fruit, honeyed cast, and faint oiliness – remain as striking as they are rare for the vintage; and the 2009 Sancerre Mont Damnes too has retained its stunning florality and mouthwatering evocation of crustacean reduction., uncannily avoiding the pitfalls to which most Sancerres of its vintage succumbed, and like the Silex, meriting the upper end of my issue 190 rating. Tasting at this address has never been more exciting and the wines have never been more evidently at the summit of the Loire Sauvignon pecking order."