I’m a bit ashamed. I am a Pinot Noir enthusiast, yet I have never had one of these. In fact, despite learning about red Sancerre in class, I guess I was way too hung up on my favorite Willamette Valley, Oregon and Russian River Valley, California Pinots to give much thought to others for some time. And while there’s nothing wrong with having favorites and I do enjoy a nice aged Burgundy from time to time, I tend to like my Pinots fairly young and racy. But like most I have for too long equated Sancerre with its more famous white wine. Frankly I completely overlooked this option even though Sancerre has quite a long history making red wines as well. In fact, it was known for light-bodied easy-drinking reds long before the famous herbaceous white came to aquire so much fame and fortune. And from my favorite grape, no less. While these reds and rosés make up only about 20% of the wine production here, the results are no less tasty. And it finally got its due in the AOC world, even if after white Sancerre achieved it.
Ruby-garnet in appearance, and leaning more towards garnet on the rim from some good aging, this wine has a beautiful nose. Seductive, even. You get the rich red fruit, you get the oak, you get the spice…. in a magnificent whiff. Ahh Pinot Noir, my mistress… Where the hell has red Sancerre been all my life. I could even forget getting the white Sancerre wrong on a certain blind tasting. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it was sour grapes after that (yuk yuk). But damn if blind tasting isn’t hard. We all know that. And I beat myself up, only to miss a chance to love Sancerre again – until now. (Don’t get me wrong, I still like the white one.)
On the palate, the bright red berry fruit comes back for another swing, along with some cloves, a little white pepper and beautifully-integrated acidity. A nice light body and a fruity, spicy finish. This is a luscious wine. I am enamored. I can see this as a perfect Thankgsiving turkey companion… and maybe some sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts? — yes, yes and yes. It’s not quite Thanksgiving yet, but it’s drinking beautifully on its own.
Its always such a pleasure to open a wine and say my god that is exactly what I needed just now. I wish I had opened it with a friend. Well, maybe. This affair might go on all night, until its over. While not the most complex Pinot in the world, I’m not always looking for that. It brings the same refreshing brightness and acidity as its white cousin, in a whole new way. And there is a good earthy note in there as any Pinot should have. With such fruit and acidity in perfect balance, this could definitely lie down for a little while longer, though I don’t know it that’s really the style or aim here. But I do think this entry stands as a fitting eulogy for this bottle. A steal at $16.