Cotat Les Monts Damnes

Posted by CrushWine

A Vintage of Balance & Finesse
2010 François Cotat Sancerre Monts Damnes
One Small Parcel - Special Pre-Arrival Pricing

Yes, there are Sancerres that can age, that in fact deserve to be cellared.

The marathon Sancerres of Edmond Vatan and the Cotat cousins remain the benchmarks for this genre of ageworthy Sauvignon Blanc.

These are tactile Sancerres with saturating concentrations and complex layers of melon, stone fruit, citrus, lanolin, spices and smoke. They flaunt an expression of minerality that matches the best that Riesling, Chablis and Champagne can offer, which is perhaps not that surprising as the Kimmeridgian soils that feed much of Champagne and Chablis rise to the surface here too.

There is an extreme pull in the monuments from Vatan and Cotat - Sancerres with the weight and heft of Vouvray, yet with more lift, an extreme snap on the back end that pulls everything into focus. While they can be wily and overwhelming in youth (not necessarily in a bad way), with age they gain elegance, finesse.

I was absolutely floored by a bottle of the 2005 François Cotat Monts Damnes that I stumbled across last month in my cellar and pulled out on a whim. It has re-energized my commitment to cellaring Sancerre.

Frankly, it's the wine that inspired me to find more for today's offer, a small parcel of François Cotat's 2010 Sancerre "Les Monts Damnés," sourced from perhaps the most famous vineyard in Sancerre - a place that both Vatan and Cotat have made legend. 


This site, the “damned mountains,” are so-named because of their steepness and the challenge in both cultivating and harvesting (yes, everything has to be hand-done in this vineyard). The most chalky and chiseled of François’ offerings, Monts Damnés nurtures 25+-year-old vines on rich Kimmeridgian soils.

François tends vines 100% organically and harvests at least a full week later than most everyone else in the region. The method for harvesting such a steep slope involves sliding down the slope on a cushion with the bucket in front of you; many Cotat aficionados come to help with harvest in this way each year. The wines are unfined and unfiltered.

For 2010, reports are very good - especially for the purists out there. After the rather heavy-handed 2009s, we seem to have a vintage that emphasizes clarity, cut, minerality, balance, finesse. For us, this is about the perfect combination.

The Sancerres of François Cotat are hard to come by in any meaningful quantity; a rather disappointing scenario given the pleasure they offer with age. While many stores and restaurants are allocated only a few bottles, this is one of those wines that deserves to be cellared by the case-load.

Alas, that's probably not going to be possible. We have good quantities, but not that good. That said, please give us your maximum order and we'll do the best we can!

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Director
Crush Wine & Spirits

2010 Francois Cotat Monts Damnes

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