A First Course in Wine: From Grape to Glass. Copyright 2013; Race Point Publishers, NY. 224 pages. Forward by Mario Batali.

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Wines for a Jack$on (Under $20) – Jean Marc Crochet Sancerre 2010, France

Long live Sauvignon Blanc.  It’s grown all over the world and it takes on many different styles, but one thing is for sure – if you’re looking for fresh, crisp, clean, and appetizing wines, Sancerre is a solid go-to appellation.  Deep in the heart of the Loire River Valley in France, Sauvignon Blanc reigns supreme and is planted on both sides of France’s longest river system.

Vineyards overlooked by the village of Sancerre

On the east side of the bank, you’ll find the appellation, Pouilly-Fumé.  Wines from here tend to be lush, juicy, and rich.  If you happen to be standing on the west side of the river, you’re in the appellation, Sancerre.  It’s here that Sauvignon Blanc grows in chalk soils draped in green landscapes.  If the topsoil is gravel, the resulting wines tend to be very aromatic and a bit racier.  If the soil happens to be blessed with a sprinkling of Kimmeridgian clay, the wines will be a bit more fleshy and richer.  Kimmeridgian clay is the famous soil found further east in Burgundy, where its credited with giving the wines unique longevity and complexity.

Jean Marc Crochet’s 2010 Sancerre is a great expression of the grape’s versatile character.  On the nose, the wine offers up aromas of fennel, grass, and herbs.  On the palate the wine lashes out with flavors of peach, pear, and lemongrass.  The wine is even-balanced, with a rush of tart and plump fruit flavor backed by a tight, firm, and delicious acidity.  Wines from this part of the world are great pairings for fresh fish preparations, oysters, sushi, and other light fish dishes.  They’re also great for summer salads and lighter game dishes.

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