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Paul Prieur Sancerre Blanc "Monts Damnés" '21
This historic domaine was established by Paul Prieur in 1899. Today, it is run by the young and talented Luc Prieur, a graduate of Domaine du Lycée Viticole de Beaune, in Burgundy. In total the domaine holds 19 hectares in Sancerre, 14 of which are planted to Sauvignon Blanc, with the remainder to Pinot Noir. Since Luc’s involvement, the winery has moved toward organic viticulture, while also implementing some biodynamic practices.
Prieur produces just three white wines in his lineup: a Sancerre Blanc, sourced from several vineyards, and two single-vineyard wines from the Pieuchaud and Monts Damnés vineyards.
Monts Damnés is a famed vineyard located just outside Chavignol, and its soil consists of Kimmeridgian marls, which are clay and limestone with fossils, a soil that may be over 140 million years old. Some well-known producers source grapes from this vineyard, and many of their wines are 20–30% more expensive than Prieur’s.
The 2021 vintage is a notoriously cooler one, and many of the wines I tasted from that vintage expressed more pyrazines, often lacking the fruit required to find the perfect balance. Not the case with the 2021 Prieur “Monts Damnés.” This is a pure, mineral-driven style of Sancerre, with notes of grapefruit peel, lemon, and fines herbes, and a long, complex finish. Everything is in perfect balance.
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