One of the finest Sancerres of the vintage - 2012 Francois Cotat Monts Damnes

Posted by Ian McFadden

I have to admit it. Cotat's wines had fallen off my radar.

Then, I had a bottle of 2000 Les Monts Damnés at a restaurant a month ago. Suddenly, I found myself looking at my storage and kicking myself for not buying more.

2012 is one of the strongest vintages in Sancerre in the past five years or more. The wines offer plenty of concentration and mid-palate punch with a brisk driving acidity and pristine mineral expression.

When it comes to Sancerre, Cotat's village of Chavignol is a very special place. Chavignol is absolutely defined by its terroir: Kimmeridgian marl, the same soil as parts of Chablis, that imbues the wine with Chablis-like minerality. With age, it's the terroir that comes to dominate with a blantant minerality.

Monts Damnés is one of Sancerre's top sites. In the hands of Cotat, Monts Damnés ("damned hills",) so-named for their incredibly steep gradient, produces wines with a complex textural element and in 2012 a laser-like zip and definition.

François Cotat may need no introduction. Along with his cousin Pascal and Edmond Vatan, François is a benchmark of Sancerre. His wines cast Sauvignon Blanc in a radically new light and evolve in the cellar in absolutely shocking and beautiful ways. Bottles of Cotat at 15 or 20 years can be heartbreaking.

I expect a lot from François Cotat's 2012 Les Monts Damnés. I see it evolving into a monument to what the best Sancerre can achieve in terms of grandeur, penetrating minerality and longevity.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden

Director, Fine & Rare Wine

Crush Wine & Spirits