2009 Gerard Boulay "Clos du Beaujeu" Sancerre Chavignol (Elsewhere $35)

SKU #1066051

89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "... honeydew melon, papaya, nut oils, candied orange peel, and caraway, on the nose of Boulay’s 2009 Sancerre Clos de Beaujeu migrate to a soft, lush, faintly warm (14.5%) palate that evinces a slight sense of sweetness from sheer ripeness, glycerin, and low acidity. (In fact, this has only 2 grams of residual sugar. Perhaps if he had been able, Boulay ought to have taken advantage of the formula “4+1 grams” permitted for the appellation in this extreme vintage, and thereby have spared his wine considerable alcohol.) A lovely scallop-like sense of sweet and saline savor characteristic for this cuvee lends depth to a lush and – save for its heat – soothing finish. This will doubtless appeal more to tasters who are not fans of classic Sancerre, and it should prove perfectly adaptable at table – just not in those places where its identity would lead you to expect. It also seems prudent to plan on serving this over the next couple of years, even though under normal circumstances I associate excellent aging potential with this cuvee." (08/10)

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Price: $21.99
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Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- Of all of the French wine producing regions, the Loire might produces the greatest variety of wines. They range from still to sparkling, very dry and acidic to hearty sweet, and clear in color to a deep purple. The diversity of wine produced in this region is due in part to its dynamic climate, which ranges from Continental to Mediterranean. This region is best known for Sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc and Cabernet Franc. The most famous areas in the Loire Valley may be Sancerre and Vouvray.