The vineyards remain among the best in Chavignol, with a large proportion of old vines. The old barrels are not in use any more, but the vineyard and cellar work still follow the same time-honored techniques. The Monts Damnés plot is too steep a slope to ever consider machine harvesting, which is now the norm in the appellation, and it requires intensive, non-mechanized vineyard work, but this site is worth the trouble: drainage and exposure are excellent and ensure the best ripeness for the vintage. Labaille has somewhat tidied up Thomas’ facilities, which used to be in sharp contrast to most cellars in the area; instead of a hyper-hygienic room, with wall-to-wall tiled floors and stainless-steel vats, his was a Burgundian type of cellar. Some cuvées still age in large concrete vats, others in stainless steel, and the oak barrels have been re-placed by newer ones, mostly second-hand, 2 to 3 years old, not in order to impart any oaky character to the wine, but to let it breathe and evolve slowly on its lees. The resulting wine is sensational: rich, fat, round, with layered aromas, a subtle nose and a long finish. Not a typical bistro Sancerre, but a graceful wine meant for aging and pleasure.