Piercing 2020 Sancerre: Pear, Grapefruit, and Stones

Bone-dry, stony Sauvignon Blanc for a sweltering summer evening.

Sancerre has no premier or grand cru classifications — all 6400 acres are under the same appellation. But, as you might expect, not all of Sancerre’s terroirs are created equal. Among the most famous is the steep slopes of the Monts Damnées (damned mountains).

The Domaine de la Garenne, our Sancerre source, farms a special plot along the same slope as Mont Damnées called “Les Bouffants.” It’s a single, limestone-heavy terroir which Garenne vinifies and bottles separately. The slope isn’t quite as steep as its famous neighbor, but it’s awfully close.

Garenne’s regular Sancerre is delightful — fruit forward, dry and refreshing. Their “Bouffants” cuvée is another level of impressive.

Made from pure, unoaked Sauvignon Blanc, Bouffants is more dense and serious than Garenne’s regular cuvée. The 2020 is perhaps the best they’ve made –round, concentrated and very long, full of deep mineral intensity and dried fruit. Look for notes of pears and grapefruits, with a long, clean, very dry finish. Think of the ripe fruitiness of a classic Sauvignon combined with the stony core of a Cru Muscadet.

Bouffants is a perfect food wine and can stand up to a wide range of diverse flavors. As the summer warmth arrives this wine is as useful as a patio umbrella, and a good deal tastier. Sauvignon blanc seems to come from every corner of the world these days, but this will remind you: there’s nothing quite like Sancerre.


Garenne Sancerre “Bouffants” 2020
bottle price: $28

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