February 24, 2007

2004 Domaine de Saint Pierre Sancerre, Loire Valley, France

There is no doubt that we have exposed our bias for the wines of the Loire Valley. We've only really discussed a few, though, and in the context of our review of this Sancerre thought we would give you a little background on the Loire valley and the wines of the region. The valley gets its name from the Loire river that runs through the area. It is this river, changing and moving across the landscape over its history, that has imparted so many of the mineral qualities in the soil that make their way into the regions wines. The Sauvignon Blancs of the Loire are noted for these qualities, and we seek them out. In reality, the Loire is made up of several different grape growing areas and these represent a broad range of growing climates from the appelation Sancerre in the east to the appelation of Muscadet. Along the river are many other appelations, some very recognizable and others less so. The more widely known are Vouvray, Sancerre and Pouilly Fume. But there is also Touraine (a wine from which we just reviewed) as well as Chinon and Anjou (wines from which we will be reviewing in the near future). It is the white grapes of the appelations that the Loire is most noted for, and it goes without saying that the queen of these is Sauvignon Blanc. We would be remiss, though, to not point out that the Melon grape of Muscadet in the Loire makes amazing wine... also a favorite of ours and a grape that is gaining an increasing following with the vineyards of the Willamette Valley and wineries like Panther Creek and Ken Wright Cellars. Something that we are are excited to do, and that is also gaining increasing exposure, is to begin reviewing some of the red wines of the Loire, wines that go mostly unnoticed here in the US but that deliver excellent value and quality.

We found this Sancerre to be classic and delivering of the promise for the wines of this appelation. The nose was bright with lemon and flint, and a subtle pine quality. It tasted wonderful with more citrus, moving toward grapefruit, and a nice minerally backbone. We also picked up rosehips in the finish, which was clean and dry. For the money, this wine is a nice entry-level example of the style of Sancerre.

cost - $16.99

winecommando rating (1-10) - 8

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