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Saturday, 21 August 2010

The final mystery - Domaine des Cottereaux, Sancerre from Laithwaites

This was the last of my mystery-case wines from Laithwaites - and the most expensive.
Sancerre, from the Loire and always made from Sauvignon Blanc, is rarely if ever cheap - it trades heavily on its name which is why neighbouring Touraine, just up-river and also made from SB usually provides better value.

Sancerre and goat's cheese is a classic combination, so for this wine, I chose a soft, creamy goat's cheese with an edible rind and served it simply - as a starter with a little rocket seasoned with salt and olive oil.

Salty, creamy cheeses need crisp zingy wines to cut through them whilst the green rocket leaves matched with the herbaceous aromas of the wine; the oil provides a touch of pepperiness to match with the rocket and liven things up generally.

It was a hot summer's evening, we had guests and a crisp white was just what was needed. Served well-chilled and poured immediately on opening, it was relatively neutral on the nose with only subtle hints of the typical Sauvignon aromas of freshly-cut grass, gooseberries and nettles.

On the palate it was taut, crisp, focused and classy in a full-yet-restrained way - good structure and some mineral backbone on the finish along with slight hints of flint and gunsmoke.

It started to open up a little more and gain weight towards the end of the bottle - would have been nice to try a second bottle and given it an hour or so in a decanting jug first, but at £13.49, I probably won't bother.

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