It’s a family (the Daney family) joke that the Cru d’Arche Pugneau has been an unclassified estate since 1855 despite the fact that its vineyards are encircled and touched and are otherwise and in all ways in the neighborhood of the most grand and fabled estates of Sauternes. The domaine has been in the Daney family since 1923. Louis-Gabriel Daney owned the estate and produced the wines until 1970 at which point he was followed by his son, Jean-Pierre, who held the reins until 1981. When Jean-Pierre Daney retired, his son, Francis, in turn took his place as the third generation of the Daney family to control the affairs at this beautifully situated domaine.
The domaine consists of 13 hectares, with many small parcels spread over four different communes within the Sauternais – Sauternes, Preignac, Bommes and Barsac – as is frequently the case in this appellation. The majority of the parcels are within the village of Boutoc, which lies in the heart of the AOC Sauternes. Daney’s holdings here are bordered by the vineyards of several of the most prestigious of the classified grands crus – Yquem, Suduiraut, Lafaurie-Peyraguey and Rabaud-Promis. You can see the d’Arche Pugneau vineyard holdings marked in green on the accompanying map which also indicates the location of several classified growth producers of Sauternes, including the grand Yquem. The vineyards are planted 75% to Semillon, 20% to Sauvignon and 5% to Muscadelle. The soil is sand and gravel-based, with layers of clay at varying depths. The Daney home and chai and a small parcel of the d’Arche Pugneau vineyards sit at the foot of the hill at the top of which stands Chateau d’Yquem.
The vineyards are planted 75% to Semillon, 20% to Sauvignon and 5% to Muscadelle.
Copper sulfate only
Annual ploughing to maintain vineyard health
Red Limestone-clay and sand toward Barsac, and sandy gravel atop deep gravel subsoils toward Sauternes.
Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle trained in Guyot, Sémillon trained in Cordon de Royat
Controlled through pruning and debudding, yields average 15 hl/ha.
Traditional hand harvesting with successive passes through the vineyard to select individual botrytized berries
Entirely estate fruit
Wines ferment spontaneously in 225-l neutral oak barrels.
Bâtonnage only to counter reduction
Vertical basket press
Blocked by wines’ naturally high acidity
Basic Sauternes spends 2 years in 225-l neutral oak barrels. Trie Exceptionelle spends 3 years in 225-l neutral oak barrels. L’Intemporel solera has been in barrel since 1997.
Wines remain on their fine lees until assemblage prior to bottling
FINING & FILTRATION
Bentonite fining if necessary, plate filtration if necessary
Applied only at bottling, c. 10 mg/l free