By Lorcan O'Briens | Wine & Communications Manager
Sancerre has been around for a long time as the Loire Valley was probably cultivated by the Romans and Sancerre is one its main appellations. Famously the home of Sauvignon Blanc, the vines are grown on a chalk soil which is similar to the soils of Champagne and Chablis. Located in the central vineyards of the Loire Valley, near the river, this chalk soil along with the hot summers and long cold winters define the style of the wines.
However with so many options available it can be tricky to understand what this style should be. For an authentic Sancerre experience my suggestion is to find a winemaker whos wine style you like. Winemakers such as the Bertin family focus on expressing the purity of the Sauvignon Blanc grape as well as highlighting the natural terroir character of the region. When assessing your Sancerre wine you should look for an expression of gooseberry and citrus aromas and flavors, on the palate typically it should be bone dry and have high natural acidity with notable mineral or flinty notes.
The newly launched 2012 vintage of Sophie Bertin Sancerre ticks all of these boxes, plus you are safe in the knowledge that the wines are made by a small family business who are focused on the quality of the wine and respecting the heritage of the region and of the Sauvignon Blanc grape.
For a wine that is similarly bone dry with a mineral backbone but has a bit more weight on the palate try Chateau Fontain Audon: the additional richness on the palate has been achieved through a touch of lees contact during the winemaking process, which adds complexity and fullness.
Both wines are ideal to serve with light summer foods, goats cheese but above all freshly caught shellfish such as crab.