£14.25 for this precise wine
Purple pagers may remember my extensive tasting of Loire 2010 Sauvignon Blancs, a celebration of how much more consistent and convincing Loire renditions of this grape are nowadays, now that there are so many producers with a genuine desire to produce wines of character and integrity, rather than vapid liquids that simply cash in on the popularity of names such as Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.
I have enjoyed and suffered an on-off relationship with Sancerre. The first wine I ever bought by the case (do you remember your first time?) was a Vatan Sancerre, Les Dames Blanches, I think. No, I do not wish to revisit which vintage it was, thank you, but I can so clearly remember the label. Black etching on white. And it seemed so exciting and sophisticated.
Then during the late 1980s and 1990s there seemed to be less and less nerve to Sancerre. Perhaps the producers lost their nerve in the face of the challenge from Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc?
But all seems much more promising nowadays and, of all the 57 wines reviewed, my favourite was André Vatan, Les Perriers 2010 Sancerre. I even gave it 17.5 points out of 20! Considering that high score, its current price at its sole UK importer Yapp Bros looks almost a bargain: £14.75 per bottle or £7.95 per half. (Their Sancerre rosé is also available, at £14.25 a bottle, but I was less impressed by this, as you will see when I publish reviews of 125+ pink wines next week.)
This is my tasting note: 'Clay and limestone. Blend. Now this is really vibrant with quite a bit of struck-match character, then masses of sleek, satisfying fruit. And great persistence. This is the sort of wine that would, nay should, get me drinking Sancerre again. In fact I may even have fallen in love with its shiny pale green foils. Very complete. Lip smacking.'
As temperatures rise, I commend this to you as a great summer aperitif - or drink with delicate food any time over the next two, possibly three, years.
Most unfortunately, I cannot find this particular wine available anywhere other than chez Yapp, but there are stockists of André Vatan's 2009 Sancerres all over the US and Europe.