Price Range : $64 - 71
Region: Chavignol, Loire Valley, France Ready to Drink: Immediately upon release, but can age a long time
Surely, one of the great white wines of the world. Wine derived from the Sauvignon Blanc grape is often labeled into a corner as a dry and high-acid wine, implying a limited range of expression. A typical wine drinker’s opinion might be “good, but not my favorite.” If there is a Sauvignon Blanc in the world that will challenge anyone’s assumptions about Sauvignon Blanc, it probably would be a Sancerre from GÉRARD BOULAY. One of the masters of the grape in the Loire Valley of France, the winemaker is also the beneficiary of being able to work with some of the finest vineyards in all of France bearing Sauvignon Blanc fruit, in the hamlet of Chavignol.
Among Boulay’s Sauvignon Blancs, the Comtesse Sancerre is the pinnacle, the Mount Everest (the vineyards in Chavignol are intimidatingly steep, requiring a perilous climb to pick the grapes). The 2013 bottling is stunningly gorgeous and overflowing with beauty—notes of lemon oil, honeysuckle, white peach and white flowers and orange preserves, with an ever so slight minty coda to the finish. And what an indulgently long finish—so succulent, crisp and vibrant. The wine’s acidity is scintillating, with an undercurrent of fresh buttery texture for attractive balance. There is a devotion to finding the deepest and purest expression of this wine from the artist who created it, which could be compared to a religious devotion. This Sancerre bears with it a similar preponderance of weight and importance and significance as the music of Bach or Handel you’ll be sure to hear over the holiday season. The Comtesse Sancerre is a heavenly beauty. –J.M.