Tag Archives: sancerre

Chotard Sancerre 2013

29 Apr

Back in the spring of 2013, I roused friends to one of my favorite rites of spring: Sancerre. I had several people reach out to me afterwards, expressing their similar joy at this regional delight. This year, seeing this bottle on a shelf and having an urge for instant-gratification, I bought this and quietly enjoyed it over a week of small sips late at night. It was most definitely a “guilty pleasure” wine, so much that I almost didn’t share it with you.

Daniel Chotard Vigneron Sancerre Blanc, 2013, Crézany-en-Sancerre, France. From Oak and Steel, NYC. $29. ABV 12.5%.  (available online and regionally from $22-29.)

Color: very pale straw with hint of gold. On the nose, meyer lemon, orange peel, mixed floral arrangement (screaming sauvignon blanc!) and a hint of minerals. In the mouth, a delicate blend of tropical fruit with bursts of limestone and saline. A white that is gentle yet firm and rich. The notes lift into the top palate while the bright lemon fruit shines again on the back palate and through the long finish. This is a beautifully made wine and the joy I experienced while tasting it matched some of the better, far more expensive chablis, white burgundies, and a few California chadonnays that I hold close to my heart. I don’t know if this wine is hitting me when I need to taste spring the most or if it’s really that darn good, but at under $30 bottle I’m about to regret posting this before trying to find out where I could secure a case for myself.

Most excitingly, it distinctly reminds me of a glass of wine I enjoyed with my new bride on our honeymoon decades ago in Rouen, France. And that, I needn’t tell you, was an unbelievable and incredibly romantic trip.

Evidently, I really enjoyed this sancerre.

Chotard Sancerre

à votre santé!

Semi-Sweet Sancerre and Super Sweet Eiswein!

9 Sep

Couronne & Lions Sancerre, Loire Valley, 2012

$18 from Mayfair Wine & Liquor

Pale straw in color with a hint of green on the tinge. A nose of  white peach, hibiscus, and citrus with a note of chalky clay. In the mouth, gooseberry, grapefruit, lemon, and lychee flavors dominate the palate and are followed by sharp acidity, with notes both sweet and sour on the upper palate and during the finish. A nicely made sancerre that will also please lovers of sauvignon blanc; I think this wine shines best when served quite cold.

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Heinz Eifel Eiswein

 375ml bottle, $18 from Mayfair Wine & Liquor

The color is a lovely orange sunset and the nose reminds me of candied apples with pears poached in brandy. The palate of this sweet wine is ripe pear, apricot & plum, dominated by the sugary sweetness of the blend and a hint of must. I’m stunned to find an eiswein so similar to a sauternes. After three separate tastings on different days, my notes all agree:  at the right temperature (serve very cold), this eiswein is a superb dessert wine.

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à votre santé!

Spring Is In The Air…Sancerre!

6 May

Recently after an evening performance I joined friends for a quick drink at a new restaurant. As we arrived one by one, the waiter provided a drink list and without prompting, each person examined the wines by the glass and declared, “Sancerre!”  It seemed that to each of us, without knowing what anyone else had ordered, Sancerre appeared to be an excellent choice to have when there was no expectation for pairing or food (yet) and ideal for the late evening- all of this in spite of a nice wine menu featuring several chardonnay, white bordeaux, aligote and a chablis available. The choice was a clear winner: sancerre.

It must be Spring. The weather has finally changed, its gorgeous outside, everyone is suffering from allergies, and the bars are stocked with Sancerre.

The success of 2010’s wine crop in France did not end in Bordeaux. The Loire Valley also has had wonderful production and the evidence is in your glass. Sancerre is traditionally 100% sauvignon blanc grapes grown on the west side of the Loire river (facing Pouilly-Fumé on the east bank). There are several terroirs in Sancerre, and as they are often aged in stainless tanks or concrete without exposure to oak, drinkers will find the minerality to be a major character in their glass, be it chalky clay, limestone and flint, the classic white clay and limestone, or another wonderfully expressive version of the amazing terroir.

The only downside? It has become nearly impossible to find a great sancerre for under $15. The good news is, you can find a good value for $10 and really well-made sancerre under $20. So go, drink, enjoy, and share your findings with us!

à votre santé!

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