Winemaker Claude Thomas finally retired in his late 70s when son-in-law, Jean-Paul Labaille, took over as vigneron. Since then, only minimal changes have occurred. The vineyards remain among the best in Chavignol, with a large proportion of old vines. 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 the slope receives excellent drainage and exposure, which ensure the best ripeness for the vintage. Jean-Paul Labaille creates in a Burgundian type of cellar. Some cuvées still age in large concrete vats, others in stainless-steel. The oak barrels have been re-placed by newer ones two to three years old, not to impart any oaky character to the wine, but rather to let it breathe and evolve slowly on its lees.
Thomas Labaille Sancerre “Authentique”