Just as Les Culs de Beaujeu is all about quiet velvety charm, so Les Monts Damnes is very much the crunchy one; broad, square quivering, it's perhaps Francois's most classic expression of Sancerre wine. In 2009 there's a marzipan richness about this wine, balanced by a distinctly pebble nettle character.
Francois Cotat has four plots among this large but consistently fine vineyard; a vineyard that stretches the breadth of the village's eastern escarpment, so facing west. Containing vines of approx. 30 yo, it's a wine that will grow grow, but should be drinkable from 2014/5.
The 2009 vintage was influenced by hail, draught hence an earlier smaller than average harvest, this is one of those rich sunny years where the personality of the vintage comes through stronger than that of the vineyard. Though Francois Cotat's 2009s come in at c. 15% abv they are balanced by the inherent minerality of his exceptional vineyards. (Such has been the climatic change that Francois hasn't needed to chaptalise since the 2004 vintage.)
Francois Cotat continues to make wine as his father Paul did; the domaine being born out of the split with Pascal Cotat in 1988. Francois joined the tiny but perfectly sited property in 1999, continuing to hand-harvest the fruit that is then vinified using wild yeasts aged in 80 yo oak barrels without any intervention. Francois reasons that the use of wild as opposed to selected yeasts enable his to be more digestible reflective of their origins. Neither fined nor filtered Francois continues to judicious levels of sulphur to guide the wines to full maturity. He follows the lunar cycle.
(David Berry Green, BBR Buyer) Domaine François Cotat