Grape Expectations: Sancerre

Continuing on my theme of looking at the world of wine geographically, rather than through the lens of grape varieties, I bring you to the Loire Valley, and more specifically to Sancerre.

Most of you will be familiar with Sancerre Blanc – a crisp, bracingly fresh expression of Sauvignon Blanc, combining herbaceous grassiness and pithy citrus and a hint of elderflower. White grapes dominate Sancerre to such an extent that my even calling it ‘Sancerre Blanc’ may sound rather odd.

Nobody ordering a glass of Sancerre expects to be handed a red or rosé wine, but these are also produced, albeit in much smaller quantities than the white. Both are produced using Pinot Noir, and are characterised by delicate, juicy red cherry fruit flavours.

There is rarely much use of oak in any of the three colours of Sancerre, winemakers preferring to allow the cool, elegant fruit flavours to take centre stage.

Recommendation: Domaine Jean-Max Roger Sancerre Rouge Cuvée Clocher d’Amelie – A delicate and elegant Pinot Noir with pure red cherry flavours and light tannins. 

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