Browse Tag


The first

Bernard-Noël Reverdy “Domaine de la Garenne” 2008 Sancerre Rosé (Loire) – Actually, not bad. (I know…lead off with the lavish praise, right?) Dry, with some flattish minerality exposed – something planar and uniform – and a little patina of raspberryishness. Nothing to think about, but quite drinkable while well-chilled. And had I not written this note hot on the drinking’s heels, I’d never have remembered drinking this at all. Meanwhile, that Reverdy family sure is fertile, isn’t it? (11/09)

Swimming upstream

Salmon 2009 Sancerre “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) – Very straightforward varietal characteristics, to which not much has been added or taken away. Sharp, greenish, and direct. (11/10)

Mellot yellot

[bottle]Mellot 2003 Sancerre Rouge En Grand Champs (Loire) – Red cherry fruit, somewhat sticky and confected, drapes like an overweight cat over the palate’s lap. There’s a lot more to this wine, especially in an earthen realm, but the sheer mass of the jammy, very nearly dead fruit is impossible to get past. There’s tannin, but not as much as one often fears from a 2003, and I have to say that this is better than most. Still doesn’t mean I want to drink it. (1/10)


Crochet 2008 Sancerre Pinot Rosé (Loire) – Zapped raspberry and strawberry husk, with powdery layers of dusty minerality and some green leaves in the mix. It’s nice enough, but it never really goes anywhere interesting; still, it lacks the balance issues that plague so many rosés. (7/09)

Buster bar

Thomas-Labaille 2005 Sancerre Les Monts Damnés “Cuvée Buster” (Loire) – Creamy and, dare I say it about a Sancerre?, thick, but in its mode there’s a fair bit of balance. It tastes more spherical than of any particular mineral or growing thing, and for about an hour or so there’s absolutely nothing about it that tastes anything like its appellation or its grape. Eventually, with a lot of air (and gentle movement towards room temperature), the barest hint of grass and gooseberry emerges, peeking out from some tiny room within the sphere. Given all this, plus a very long finish, either this needs an epic decant or, more reasonably, a good long lie-down in the cellar. (10/08)


Vatan 2005 Sancerre Clos la Néore (Loire) – Classic. Mineral-infused grapefruit, thick and rindy. Big, rich, powerful, yet utterly exquisite. (2/08)

Vatan 2003 Sancerre Clos la Néore (Loire) – Heavy makrut lime, flat, and short. A victim of its vintage. (2/08)

Reverdy or not

P&N Reverdy 2006 Sancerre “Cuvée Les Coûtes” (Loire) – Grass, dry fruit rinds, sand, and banana skin. I’m not sure what this is trying to be. It’s fairly appealing, but… (2/08)


Vatan 1997 Sancerre Clos la Néore (Loire) – Not yet fully mature, which is saying something by itself. There’s a little cream to the highly-developed but well-balanced sweetness here, but between that and a crystalline foundation are layers upon layers of green- and yellow-hued sediment spiked with needles of citrus rind. This wine doesn’t just pulse, it throbs. Even at this stage, and not from a universally-adored vintage, I have to say that this is the best non-dessert sauvignon blanc I’ve ever had, and it wins that competition by some margin. Brilliant. (8/07)

Sophie, grail

Neveu 2000 Sancerre Rouge Le Grand Fricambault (Loire) – Nicely-aging pinot, probably not far from peak, with old red fruit and mushroomy, earthy tones, plus a light and enticing core of fall leaves. This tastes more like an off-appellation Burgundy than many Sancerres; perhaps it’s the age, but I suspect things were unusual from the start. A very pretty drink. (5/08)

Damned if you do

François Cotat 2006 Sancerre Les Monts Damnés (Loire) – All minerality in crystal form. Big and fat – perhaps it has a bit of a weight problem – but with sufficient skeletal fortitude to support the extra heft. I think it should, as usual, age well; it’s pretty primary now. (4/08)

François Cotat 2001 Sancerre Les Monts Damnés (Loire) – Gorgeous, like light through a prism. This brings all the concentrated facets of the young wine into focus, displaying them with remarkable purity and gentle ease, yet there’s excitement and complexity to be had as well. I’d say this is ready to go, though I don’t suppose there’s a huge hurry. (4/08)

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