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Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé: Panel tasting results

From opulence and oak to young, zippy freshness, there are styles to suit many tastes among these summery whites from two classic French regions.

Jim Budd, Natalie Earl and Ben Llewelyn tasted 72 wines with 7 Outstanding and 31 Highly recommended.

Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé: Panel tasting scores

72 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 7

Highly recommended 31

Recommended 30

Commended 3

Fair 1

Poor 0

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-release Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé white wines, available in the UK with retail pricing at £19.99 or above.

Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are among the best-known – and most exported – Loire appellations, so it was interesting to see how wines costing £19.99 or above from the two appellations would show. Ben Llewelyn set the scene: ‘Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé have long been bastions of great, terroir-driven Sauvignon Blanc,’ he said. ‘Their respective sides of the Loire river remain meccas for wine lovers, tourists and gastronomes from around the world. As a result the names have almost become brands, which sadly have not always quite lived up to the hype.’

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores from the Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé panel tasting

Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé panel tasting scores

The judges

Jim Budd has written for Decanter since 1989, specialising in the wines of the Loire, and is the DWWA Regional Chair for the Loire. Budd writes jimsloire.blogspot.com (now occasionally), is one of the five members of the Les 5 du Vin blog, and is also a photographer and a translator from French to English for producers in France.

Natalie Earl is Decanter’s Regional Editor for France other than Bordeaux and Burgundy, and is a keen advocate for organic, sustainable and natural wines.
Ben Llewelyn is managing director of wine importer Carte Blanche Wines, which specialises in terroir-driven, low-intervention wines from France and Spain.

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