Recommendations

— D.M.

Domaine Roblin Les Ammonites 2009

★★★

Sancerre, Loire Valley, France, $37

Tasting this wine was like touching the third rail: electrifying. The Kimmeridgian marl, with a higher clay content in the chalky soil, gives the wine immediate up-front power, but there is also a long, complex finish and, well, sheer joy to this wine. I didn’t want to spit it out; I didn’t want to swallow. I just wanted to caress it with my tongue, and I don’t care who takes that out of context.

Vintage 59/Country Vintner: Available in Virginia at Arrowine, the Tasting Room Wine Bar & Shop in Middleburg and Reston; on the list at Ashby Inn & Restaurant in Paris, Bistro Vivant in McLean.

Francois et Jean-Marie Cherrier, Les Chailloux Cuvee Vieilles Vignes 2011

★★1 / 2

Sancerre, Loire Valley, France, $21

This single-vineyard wine is grown on old vines in a mixture of the three main types of soil: silex, gravel and chalky clay. Yields are kept low, and the wine never sees wood. That lends freshness. While the silex is evident in a flinty character, the chalk provides structure and the gravel gives elegance. A delicious wine and quite a value.

Dionysus: Available in the District at D’Vines, Wagshal’s Market, Whole Foods Market at Foggy Bottom, P Street and Tenleytown; on the list at J&G Steakhouse, Melrose. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bradley Food & Beverage and Cork & Fork in Bethesda; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Wine Cellars of Annapolis; on the list at Tavira in Chevy Chase. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington; Balducci’s in Alexandria and McLean; J. Emerson Fine Wines & Cheese in Richmond; Wegmans in Leesburg; Whole Foods Market in Alexandria, Tysons Corner and Vienna; Wine Cabinet in Reston; Wine Guild of Charlottesville.

Domaine Vincent Delaporte 2010

1 / 2

Sancerre, Loire Valley, France, $27

This beautiful wine offers red fruit flavors and excellent acidity to make it both compelling and refreshing. There is a bit of the aggressiveness of underripe sauvignon blanc, but it is tamed by minerality and depth with a citrusy edge that carries the wine through a long finish. Local distributors have begun offering the 2011 vintage, but don't pass up the 2010 if you can find it.

Vineyard Brands/Bacchus in the District and Maryland; Country Vintner in Virginia: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, Circle Wine & Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Magruder’s, Wide World of Wines; on the list at Bistrot le Zinc, Equinox, Johnny’s Half Shell, Komi, Nora, Sushi Taro, Tabard Inn. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis; Graul’s Wine & Spirits in Baltimore; Jason’s Wine & Spirits, Pine Orchard Wine in Ellicott City; State Line Liquors in Elkton; Wine Merchant in Lutherville. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s, Unwined in Alexandria; Classic Wines in Great Falls; Wegmans in Fairfax and Woodbridge.

Domaine Reverdy-Ducroux, Les Vignes Silex 2010

★★

Sancerre, Loire Valley, France, $22

Silex soils give this wine a sense that it hails from deep within the earth. It’s less fruity than the others, yet still compelling in a broody, intellectual way.

Winebow: Available in the District at Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Potomac Wine & Spirits.

Henri Bourgeois, La Porte du Caillou 2011

★★

Sancerre, Loire Valley, France, $20

A leading producer from Chavignol, a town near Sancerre also noted for its goat cheese (an excellent match for sauvignon blanc), Bourgeois makes a full line of wines from throughout the region. Most widely available here is this lovely Porte du Caillou, but it is worth seeking out Le MD de Bourgeois (★★★, $30), which packs a punch from Kimmeridgian soils of the terres blanches.

M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Bell Wine & Spirits, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Watergate Wine & Beverage. Available in Maryland at Camelot Liquors, Cork ’N Bottle in Laurel; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Friendship Wine & Liquor in Abingdon; Nick’s of Clinton in Waldorf; Old Farm Liquors in Frederick; Preserve Wine & Spirits in Hanover; Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington; Village Green Spirit Shop in Ellicott City; on the list at Cafe Normandie in Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; Cork & Fork in Gainesville; Crystal City Wine Shop; Grateful Red Wine & Gift Shop in Arlington; Vienna Vintner; on the list at Evo Bistro in McLean, Can Can in Richmond.

Recommendations

r r rExceptional  r rExcellent rVery Good

Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Here are some representative Sancerre wines available in the Washington region. Few are in wide distribution, especially the single-vineyard bottlings that have lower production. If you can’t find these particular bottlings, look for other Sancerres from the same producers.

lifestyle

food

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Lifestyle

lifestyle

food

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters