A Tale of Two Sancerre

2011 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre and 2011 Lucien Crochet Sancerre

Looking up at the village of Sancerre, from my trip in November 2014.

I love high acid, lively, bright, clean, fresh white wines. That’s not to say I only love high acid, lively, bright, clean, fresh white wines, but they definitely hold a special place in my heart and on my palate. Sauvignon Blanc falls right into that category, and I recently had two different Sancerre side by side, 2011 Lucien Crochet Sancerre and 2011 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre. It reminded me how much I love drinking wines from that part of the Loire.

The Crochet was surprisingly tropical. Plenty of guava, passion fruit, grapefruit, and herbs dance around your palate. There was some minerality, but it wasn’t as austere as I would expect from Sancerre. That said it had a wonderful mouth feel. It was a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc.

The Bourgeois was absolutely classic! Fresh, lively, austere, tons of minerality, and a lovely play of herbs, white grapefruit and lemon peel on the palate. It was incredibly elegant. I was dying for some oysters.

The coolest part of this side-by-side tasting? These two wines, made from the same grape, from the same region, from the same vintage, were quite different! These two wines both had typical flavors and the typical structure for Sauvignon Blanc, but the Crochet had so many more tropical flavors than the Bourgeois. This might point to when the grapes were picked—later picking would lead to riper grapes and thus the potential for riper flavors. This difference also probably speaks to terroir. While both of these wines are from Sancerre, they are from different vineyards. A different vineyard means a variation in soil types, different exposures, and a variation in weather. All of these have an effect on the final product and the flavor of the wine. But both wines were very cool.

Personally, I preferred the Bourgeois. The acidity was intense and the minerality was striking, a very expressive wine. I felt like it was a great representation of Sancerre and just the kind of wine I love; high acid, lively, bright, clean, fresh, and a great expression of terroir.