Two Sancerres to look for
Sancerre is usually flinty and grassy so after tasting a dozen, you are focusing on other characteristics. That's how Remy Pannier under the varietal Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays (2002) and Yves Martin (2004) sub-appellation Chavignol stood out in our last Sancerre tasting.
Remy Pannier is offering a Sauvignon Blanc with some Southern accents for $22. The nose had some menthol and the palate tasted pesto. This intriguing flavor profile was completed by a chalky/minerally flavors giving this Sancerre an unusual profile. When grassiness shifts to Mediterranean herbs, hold tight your glass of Sauvignon. Chances are this large negociant trying to appeal to the export market is looking for those atypical flavors.
In a purer style, Yves Martin from the sub-appellation Chavignol was also drawing some inspiration from the South but no further than Macon. This wine was the most "Chardonnay-sque" Sauvignon I ever tasted. Yellow apples and minerals on the nose were completed by a round palate with chalky flavors. Think Chablis from good vintage. This wine highly touted by Crush is a keeper, especially under $20. Chavignol wine can age and I would bet this one would create a stir when tasted blind among white Burgundy in 2008-2010. Easy to remember Chavignol, the goat cheese (pix upper left) has the same name.
This producer is also making a Sancerre Rose available at Appellation and Chamber Street. Check this one out...