Sancerre Le Perrier de la Chapelle Domaine Bailly-Reverdy et Fils 2008

Sancerre is a bit of a minefield and my days as a sommelier put me off it for awhile. There were too many bottles of boring, by-the-numbers dross sent as samples and too often they were overpriced. Producers are spoiled. AOC Sancerre gets €5 per litre just for the name. Bulk-buyers snap it up and the number of smaller, more idiosyncratic producers is shrinking. Wines from the latter are getting more and more expensive. Sigh. I was also, to be honest, sick of Sauvignon Blanc.

So when this turned up at under £20 retail, I thought it was worth a taste.

Bright silver with edges of gold and pale honey.

Subtle grassiness on the nose, with fresh lemon zest and a hint of honeysuckle. Maybe even a touch of fleshy white stone fruit.

Nicely bright on the palate. Bracing acidity frames both the lemon and white fruits whilst leading to a gripping mineral finish. All the grassiness sticks to the edges - this is no cat's pee or gooseberry nonsense but proper crisp, refreshing Sancerre. There's a richness that rises right at the end, giving great weight. It wants for a good linguine vongole with parsley and lemon butter, or perhaps a good chevre with walnut oil dressing. Fantastic summer wine.


Tasted 2/8/2010 at Luvians Bottleshop