The small village of Sancerre in the Upper Loire Valley is renowned for its flint and limestone soils which help the Sauvignon Blancs here to gain a nervy, mineral character. Often regarded as a premium wine, there are examples that come in at a more wallet-friendly price. Scroll down to see our experts’ top picks.
‘No disrespect to New Zealand, South Africa or elsewhere, but Sancerre has something that sets it apart that the others can aspire to but can’t achieve. As Chablis does with Chardonnay,’ said Andy Howard MW in Decanter’s September 2016 issue Sancerre panel tasting.
‘Sancerre has this really different approach to Sauvignon Blanc, which almost doesn’t make it taste like Sauvignon Blanc, so Sancerre is the brand rather than the variety being the driving force.’
Jim Budd emphasised this point: ‘Sancerre sells itself, so you could almost understand producers sitting back and not striving to do better. There are Sancerre producers who rest on their laurels, but that isn’t true for the appellation’s top names like Vincent Pinard, Henri Bourgeois, Alphonse Mellot, Vincent Delaporte and other young stars coming through,’ he said.
Best value Sancerre to buy:
View the top five 2015 Sancerres from Decanter's September 2016 issue panel tasting...