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Few wine regions in France can match the Loire for its combination of sheer natural beauty, fine châteaux and pristine wines of terroir. It is here that Sauvignon Blanc reaches its apogee in the appellations of Sancerre. Sancerre’s hilltop exposition lies on the famous Kimmeridgian limestone clay. Flinty, fresh and energetic, the Sauvignon Blanc from here remains a world benchmark which has a cult following in the face of the completely different style emanating from the same grape in NZ or Australia.

The StarDozen consists of the following:

3 bottles        Domaine Thomas Le Pierrier Sancerre 2015
3 bottles        Domaine Roland Tissier Sancerre 2016
3 bottles        Domaine Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2016
3 bottles        Domaine Chateau de Sancerre 2016

Domaine Thomas Le Pierrier Sancerre 2015
Domaine Thomas is run by the ninth generation of the family. Jean and his wife Ginette own 13 hectares at Verdigny, mostly planted to Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas and flavours of bright citrus fruit, with hints of gooseberry and freshly cut grass. It’s light-bodied, with a mineral note on the finish. This is Sancerre at its flinty, minerally and racy best. Very clean, fresh and flavoursome wine at a moderate 12.5% alcohol. This is as Sancerre should be – absolutely fresh and unadulterated by oak.

Domaine Roland Tissier Sancerre 2016 
100% Sauvignon Blanc from vines with an average age of 30 years. A little bit of hedgerow the only herbaceous note on a restrained and pure nose that is mostly fruit and mineral: a bit of green apple and lemon, gooseberry with that typical impression of wet stone and a sense of roundedness (creamy lees). Dry and restrained as it goes in, too – a sense of firmness to the fruit, with good intensity of flavour and it has nice contours without being sharp at all (again, perhaps some lees-induced softening). Lime, apple and blackcurrant on the palate, which has clear hints of flint and smoke; highly typical in that regard. A little chalky phenolic bite on the finish and a pleasant hint of leaf there, with mouthwatering - but not harsh - citrusy acidity. Very pure, pretty good length.

Domaine Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2016
Pascal Jolivet is an authority when it comes to beautiful, crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from its ancestral home. Wild ferment and no added yeast, Pascal Jolivet is elegant, powerful and balanced. Characters of wet slate the unique profile of gun flint. Extraordinary. Pale and vibrant in color. The 2016 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre is fresh, clean and screaming with racy acidity. On the palate it is fresh and tightly wound; acidity is tempered by very subtle residual sugar; very clean; alive, racy, youthful. Overall, a dry and elegant wine. 

Doamine Chateau de Sancerre 2016
Expressive, with aromas of peach, pear and grape. Once the wine has had time to breathe, the aromas take on floral notes of violet and acacia. Starts off soft and round with lovely structure. The finish is long and generous. Enjoy the crispness of white peach, along with rose and violet notes, citrus flavors and apricot. "Alluring, with hints of jasmine, talc and honeysuckle, backed by a core of lemon peel, wet straw and gooseberry. A flint edge adds cut on the finish. Drink now through 2020. Rating 91 Points; Wine Spectator

 

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