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Sancerre Wine

Sancerre is one of the Loire Valley wine region's most easterly appellations and arguably its most prestigious. Once a name associated with light-bodied red wines, since the mid-20th century Sancerre has been world famous for the crisp, herbaceous style and marked minerality of its Sauvignon Blanc. It still produces red and rose wines, exclusively from Pinot Noir, but these represent only about one-fifth of its annual production.

The distinctively smoky, gunflint character of Sauvignon Blanc from this area is an intrinsic part of the Sancerre palate and is referred to locally as pierre a fusil. This aroma is the reason that Sauvignon in the eastern Loire has taken the pseudonym Blanc Fume - which explains the Fume of Pouilly-Fume, just across the Loire. It is complemented by the appellation's other key mineral, calcium, which is present in the form of limestone in the soils and as a 'chalky' flavor in the wines.

The view towards Sancerre
© AFP

Until phylloxera wiped out vast tracts of vineyard in the 1860s, Sancerre and its immediate neighbors grew mostly Gamay and Pinot Noir. When the solution to the phylloxera epidemic was identified – grafting European vines onto American rootstocks – Sauvignon Blanc vines proved more responsive than these red varieties. Thus, Sauvignon came to be the most widely planted variety in Sancerre, bringing the fame that the parish enjoys today.

The area demarcated as 'Sancerre' encompasses Sancerre itself and 14 parishes on the left bank of the Loire – from Montigny in the south to Bannay, 14 miles (22km) to the north. There were nearly 6900 acres (2800ha) of vines producing Sancerre wine in 2005, roughly double the acreage recorded when the title was introduced in November 1936.

In true French style, the terroir here is credited with the very particular aroma and flavor of Sancerre and it has been intricately studied and mapped. The key soil types are divided into limestone, marlstone, clays of various compositions and the all-important flint. Limestone and flint are the two most important. Both have excellent heat-retention and light-reflecting properties, helping the vines to achieve optimal ripeness in the cool growing season. The mineral qualities traditionally found in both Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume wines are neatly encapsulated by the two descriptors 'flinty' (pierre a fusil) and 'chalky', and are typically linked to the soil type of the vineyard where the grapes were grown.

While less fruit-driven than many modern styles of Sauvignon Blanc (from Marlborough or the Casablanca Valley, for example), there is a reliable fruity element in almost all Sancerre wines. This tends towards gooseberry and citrus characters, which work in harmony with the wines' high acidity and complement the minerality rather than dominating it.

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We found 786 wines produced in this region and all sub-regions, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Domaine Vacheron Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $26 2484
Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Blanc, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $25 2662
Chateau de Sancerre 'Sancerre', Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $25 2958
Lucien Crochet Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $28 3608
Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $26 3649
Alphonse Mellot Sancerre La Moussiere, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $31 4540
Didier Dagueneau Sancerre Monts Damnes, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $129 4707
Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $28 4752
Domaine Jean-Paul Balland Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $21 8226
Cherrier Pere et Fils Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $21 8239
Domaine Vincent Delaporte a Chavignol Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $25 8293
Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Neore, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $75 8293
Lucien Crochet Sancerre La Croix du Roy, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $30 8634
Francois Crochet Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $23 8927
Alphonse Mellot Sancerre Edmond Blanc, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $62 9796
Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $25 9865
Domaine Chotard Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $23 10064
Christian Lauverjat Moulin des Vrilleres Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $18 10151
Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Terre de Maimbray, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $23 10555
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Le Chene, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $33 10729
Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Chatellenie, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $21 10983
Francois Cotat Sancerre Les Culs de Beaujeu, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $42 11305
Francois Cotat Sancerre Les Monts Damnes, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $43 11428
Domaine Hubert Brochard Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $20 11824
Baron de Ladoucette Comte Lafond Sancerre, Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc $30 11997
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