A monthly review of an easily obtainable wine that’s had a recommendation somewhere in a National newspaper. Always posted just before the usual monthly theme, this may be the latest post for only a few days…

“Les Ruettes” Sancerre 2012 – 12.5% – M&S £14

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The tasting topic for April is Left Bank Claret. You can’t get more classic than that, so I chose a French white classic for WOTM: Sancerre.

The nose is herby and grassy, with stone notes and later citrus and a richer peach / pear fruit, opening as the wine warmed.

The palate has a lovely flinty acidity, citrus with progress into a pithy, grapefruit, slightly bitter flavour. There is typical Sauvignon Blanc warmth in the acidity, carrying mineral dryness right through to the finish. The initial breath of peachy fruit becomes richer and more honeyed as the wine opens, but remains calm and subtle. There is the tiniest touch of gooseberry later, but (thankfully, in my view) nothing of big asparagus flavours.

With food (grilled Salmon) the acidity is attenuated by the oil in the fish and the citrus and peach element and flinty finish are accentuated, making a lovely frame for the food.

The is a very balanced and poised wine, typical of the Appellation, with balance between developing acidity, minerality, and subtle, but complex, fruit flavours and good length – there is lots going on, but no single element is dominant or overwhelming. To my palate this is at a quality level NZ only matches (in a different style) at £5 or £7 more – so great value.

Ratings:    Quality: 17/20 – Value: 16/20

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