Plonk Pick – La Cave des Vins de Sancerre “Le P’tit Sancerre” 2009

"La P'tit Loire - a fine accompaniment to Brie

"La P'tit Loire" - a fine accompaniment to Brie

Now, “The Summer of Riesling” is a fine idea – acquaint wine drinkers with the wonderful world of Riesling, the most underrated of the white noble grapes. And the wines of Argentina, which we love and promote at Wine Dine With Us, offer a great confluence of quality and price. Having said all that, though, make mine France. I’ve continued my search for value-priced white French wines for summer quaffing – I’ve moved off from my Rosé pedestal – and discovered this very good Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley produced by La Cave des Vins de Sancerre, a cooperative of one hundred growers. Some wineaux may look askance at cooperative wines but don’t dismiss them – they can offer good value and are generally well-made. The major grapes in Sancerre are Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The coop produces wines from both in addition to a Rosé. In the nose, I find the wine  reminiscent of sitting on my patio – floral and herbaceous aromas from the garden along with the flowering ailanthus in the woodlot next door. In addition, a hint of white stone fruit and perhaps apricot. And add to all that a melange of citrus – lemon, lime, bitter orange and, of course, grapefruit.  On the palate, the citrus continues. A very smooth, round mouthfeel. The wine finishes with strong acidity and a bit of bitterness. Though the wine does make a great aperitif, I paired it with a somewhat simple supper – grilled chicken breast and a tomato-cucumber salad. The challenge of the match-up – besides the tomatoes –  was the dressing for the salad which I also used as an accompaniment to the chicken – dill, lemon, garlic, olive oil, Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. All went well – the wine complimenting the chicken and salad and holding its own against the tomatoes and mayo.

available at Whole Foods  340 River St.  Camb. MA –  $11.99

Since Whole Foods River St. is having a Summer Madness wine sale – 20% off 6 or more bottles – I actually paid $9.59.


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