The Dynamic (Sancerre) Duo

The Dynamic (Sancerre) Duo

Posted on Jul, 15. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

Another year, another mild summer in Virginia. It’s not supposed to crest 100 degrees for a few days at least, so that’s something, right? So, who wants some Sancerre?

Here’s what I got: a pair of Sancerres that have become our (Steph’s and my) can’t-miss, go-to wines of the season. They’re both from the same producer, Francois & Jean-Marie Cherrier; one is white and one is pink. And let me just preface this by letting you all know what a sacrifice Steph and I have made for you. The product testing that went into this endeavor was daunting—bottle after bottle after bottle—but somehow, we made it through. All for the cause…

The Cherriers have been making classic Sauvignon Blanc near Verdigny since 1927 (the brothers Francois and Jean-Marie are third-generation winegrowers here), and their wines have long been a no-brainer for me. I still have a bottle or two of the ’06 Blanc in my cellar, and it’s aging nicely…but the 2008 Blanc is something else entirely. Often, classically-styled Sancerres are offputting for a lot of people, because they don’t really have any ripeness up front, they lack a soft approachableness (yes, I just made up that word) when young, and they’re often built for food pairing. And while Cherrier does make classic, pure Sauv Blanc, it’s always had a more approachable face to it than many others at this age. The 2008 Blanc, though, has been consistently slaying me with its mix of classic Loire flint and new-world-ey plush attractiveness. It’s got bright, pleasant acid, but it’s never too much—always walking that knife’s edge between bracing and soft. But it’s still Cherrier—still pure Sauv Blanc, with all of the haunting soul, the wet chalk and fresh air and lemons, without being haughty or unapproachable. It’s pristine and beautiful; the fact that Dionysos has it on (deep) discount is even more reason to love it. Sancerre this cheap is rare; great Sancerre at this price is but a myth. Here’s your Sasquatch:

2008 Francois et Jean-Marie Cherrier Sancerre Blanc “Les Chailloux” Cuvee Vielles Vignes
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $13.20 • Premier Cru: $13.80 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $20.00
Buy Now!

Their 2009 Rosé, meanwhile, has completely turned my springtime infatuation with the Mordoree Tavel on its head (if you’ll recall, I think I said that it’s the only rosé I’d need for the year—I realize now how wrong I was). Once spring was over, I found myself going for the lighter, salmon-colored, more savory rosés (the Mordoree is closer to a red)—and while the low, low price of the Dragon rosé was almost too good to be true, I will say this: I tasted the Dragon side-by-side with the Cherrier rosé about 6 weeks ago, and was struck by how brilliant and lovely this stuff is – indeed, it’s that much better. Nevermind that the Dragon has sold out—I was buying the Cherrier when I could still get Dragon, and I stand by that! And so, after ordering bottle after bottle after bottle of this stuff from Kevin at Dionysos, he caught on that I kind of really loved it…and so he’s dropped the price for the Guild (all so that I could bring it to you for around $15) down to where I can’t really even think of another rosé that I’d touch right now. We drank yet another bottle tonight; it’s such a bright, explosive display that you almost miss the fact that it’s very classically-styled, very well-groomed (but with a wild streak). Peach, chalk, lemons, even a bit of weight and seriousness, rounded out by a feminine, almost sweet finish of seashell/salt and crisp, not-quite-ripe berries. It is THE rosé of the year…I mean it this time!

2009 Francois et Jean-Marie Cherrier Sancerre Rosé “Les Chailloux”
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $14.99 • Premier Cru: $15.26 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $21.50
Buy Now!

Look, I know it’s rare to see an offer from me these days (largely because Will and Kevin have a huge backlog of great stuff to tell you about), but I actually bumped Will’s offer today to get this out to you. I’ve been hoarding it long enough: these wines are something special. And honestly, if this doesn’t make you thirsty, then I’m doing something wrong.

2 Responses to “The Dynamic (Sancerre) Duo”

  1. Michael Davis

    15. Jul, 2010

    I had this open at the Guild a couple of Saturdays ago. Everybody who tasted it loved it and took home a few bottles. It’s outstanding stuff.

    • kevin schultz

      16. Jul, 2010

      And it is no joke… Kevin did drop the price for Wine Guild only. Please don’t tell my other customers!