I was introduced to this wine at Per Se in New York City (more on that experience is coming later). Of course it tasted delicious. But I wondered: is it the “halo effect”? Does this wine taste so good only because I am happy and thrilled right now? Fortunately, it is a relatively affordable wine ($25.00, about as high as I go except for special occasions, and a huge bargain for a good Sancerre). After returning home, I bought three bottles to compare with the restaurant experience.
The verdict? Yes, there is a slight halo effect, but this wine is excellent. It’s easily recognizable as a Sauvignon Blanc, but different in character from the New Zealand ones I usually drink. Most tasters speak of a “lemon-lime” citrusy quality as well as a mineral flavor from the famous limestone soil of Chavignol and Monts Damnés, a vineyard site considered the Sancerre equivalent of a Grand Cru. (The name “damned hills” comes from the steepness of the slopes.)
To me, the floral aromas dominated the complex layers of this wine. Yes, the flavor was citrusy in a way, but if you can imagine essence of grapefruit as a flower, you’ll have it. The wine also boasts a lovely long finish, and stands up well to Mediterranean foods with olive oil and cheese. Goat cheese is a recommended pairing.