Sancerre Wine Region
Sancerre wine comes from a village of the same name along the Loire River Valley in France. This is Sauvignon blanc country and that is what Sancerre is. At least, that is what white Sancerre is, a small amount of red and rosé wines are made as well. There are several other appellations in the general area that also make Sauv Blanc based wines as well, including those such as Pouilly-Fumé, Reuilly, and Quincy. However, Sancerre is arguably the most famous, followed closely by Pouilly-Fumé.
Sancerre is one of the classic expressions of Sauvignon Blanc, alongside Pouilly-Fumé (also in the Loire Valley) and some white Bordeaux. While some of the best California and especially New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs have come a long way, it is hard to argue that there is any better expression of the grape than these famous French regions.
Sancerre Wine Region - Wines and Grapes:The large majority of the wine produced in Sancerre is white made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. A small amount of Pinot Noir is also grown here and can be produced as either red wine or a rosé. But by far the most common Sancerre you'll find is the white.
For the most part, the wines are dry table wines. The emphasis in the winemaking is on purity and expression of the grape and the underlying soil. Therefore, little intervention is used and the wines see little or no oak aging prior to bottling.
How Do They Taste? White Sancerre is a classic French wine which has a strong character. They are bright, vibrant and aromatic wines that often have a grassy or hay-like complexity to them. If unripe, these characteristics can be dominant. But in the better wines they just add a subtle complexity and give a lift and vibrancy to the wines. The fruit flavors of Sancerre often include what is typical for Sauvignon Blanc based wines, a gooseberry aroma and flavor that is quite distinctive. If you don't know what gooseberries taste like, track some down and try them. Then try a Sauv Blanc. You may be surprised and think they vinified it from goosberries rather than grapes!
Most Sancerre are relatively inexpensive, although some of the top wines can creep up there. Still, nowhere near the range where the best white wines of Burgundy or even Bordeaux are. Although the best wines can certainly last some years, most Sancerre are best drunk relatively young when their fresh, pure and lively fruit is abundant and bolstered by the zippy acidity. This bright, refreshing character makes them a natural match with many types of food and is often paired with seafood.
Done reading about Sancerre Wine?
Return to the French Wine Regions section.