Domaine Bailly-Reverdy Sancerre Les Monts Damnnes 2016
This excellent domaine produces classic Sancerre with fruit, acidity and minerality in harmony, making them food-friendly and a true pleasure to drink. The present domaine was created in 1988, but the vineyards have been in the family since the turn of the century. The current generation, led by Franck Bailly, and most recently his nephew Aurelien (son of Franck’s brother Jean-François) has continued the family’s tradition and improved upon it with remarkable consistency and quality.
The domaine works 22 hectares of vines that are all planted in the appellation of Sancerre, 15.8 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and 6.5 hectares of Pinot Noir. Just before Franck’s father, Bernard, retired, the domaine purchased a 5 hectare domaine in Chavignol with vineyards on the very reputable hillsides – Les Monts Damnés, Les Comtesses, Les Bouffants. They now own approximately 6 ha of vines in Chavignol, most of which are used for the Chavignol cuvee. The vines are planted on the very steep slopes of Chavignol: 2/3 are planted in the clayey-limestone terres blanches and 1/3 in the rocky limestone pebbles caillottes. Bailly-Reverdy does not use any chemicals nor herbicides in the vineyards, they plant grass and herbs between their vine rows and practice ‘lutte raisonnée’ in the vineyard (which is sustainable and as close to organic as possible).
We tasted Les Monts Damnés for the first time in the 2015 vintage, and it was one of the best Sancerre whites we had ever tasted. Made from vines up to 50 years old on the slope in the cru Chavignol (which is one of the most famous of Sancerre), and specifically an area they call 'Les Monts Damnés' (that damn hill!). The terroir of Chavignol is varied; Bailly-Reverdy has 2/3 of its vines planted in the clayey-limestone and 1/3 in the rocky limestone pebbles (caillottes calcaires). Fermentation takes place with natural yeasts and occurs in temperature controlled stainless steel. The wine has been bottled unoaked. Serve with raw oysters, lemony white fishes, citrus salmon, sushi, sashimi or simply on its own as a stunning aperitif.