A Side by Side on Sancerre

Pascal Cotat and François Cotat Sancerre Les Monts Damnés 2008
Bruce Sanderson
Posted: April 20, 2010

Recently, a friend and I had dinner at Gilt in the New York Palace’s Villard Mansion. Chef Justin Bogle and his team are working magic in the kitchen, and wine director Patrick Cappiello has built an impressive list.

It’s clear that Cappiello loves the Loire Valley. Gilt offers fine selections in both reds and whites from this diverse region in France. After some discussion about the two Cotat cousins who are producing wine in the Sancerre appellation and the differences in their styles from the same vineyard, we settled on the Pascal Cotat Sancerre Les Monts Damnés 2008 ($100 on the list).

A few minutes later, Cappiello came by and poured us a glass of the François Cotat Les Monts Damnés 2008 for comparison. It was fascinating. Both Sauvignon Blancs were racy and almost severe on the palate, with intense chalk and stone flavors and dry, chalklike profiles. But the Pascal Cotat was much riper on the nose, with melon and botrytis aromas, while the François Cotat was more classic and austere, with nervous tension and beautiful balance. I rated them 91 and 92 points respectively, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Sauvignon Blancs from Sancerre, along with our quick list of Top Values among French whites, for $25 or less.

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