Southwest of Paris lies the Loire River Valley, one of France’s many famous wine regions. The white wines from this region are renown for their seemingly perfect balance of fruit and acidity, and this sauvignon blanc from Sancerre (San-SARE) is no exception. The average age of the Domaine de la Villaudière vineyards is over 30 years. The grapes are grown on two types of soil—the terres blanches, which is the clay/limestone soil that gives the wine its richness, and the limestone/gravel soil of les caillottes, which provides both floral and fruit aromas, along with crisp acidity. The grapes are fermented separately in stainless steel, with the wines blended prior to bottling.
You’re probably wondering how a sauvignon blanc from Sancerre differs from the more opulent versions from California and the more austere crisp versions from New Zealand. Stylistically, I would place this Sancerre smack in between the others. The wine is pale lemon in color, and seems to gain intensity in the glass, with lovely aromas of white flower, apple, and a hint of sweetened citrus. Its mouth-feel is refreshing and juicy, with a long, tasty finish. It pairs marvelously with most soft cheeses, especially goat cheese. It also goes well with nearly all fish, and richer shellfish, such as crab and lobster, and works well with chicken in a lighter sauce. Available at Wine Exchange for $20.