A few winters ago, back when people traveled from one country to another, I received an incredible one on one education on the differences of the terroirs of Sancerre from the master himself, Dominique Roger. (I also was lucky enough to have his wife cook us a traditional dinner with about 20 different vintages of Sancerre white and red but that’s a different story).
I’m not gonna lie, I generally thought of Sancerre as a pretty simple, crisp white that offers incredible value, food friendliness and consistency. But I have changed my tune after walking through the vineyards with Dominique, freezing my butt off for over 4 hours.
Each site offered incredibly different soil and exposure just like in Burgundy. We walked through one vineyard that was so filled with chalk rock that the ground looked like the desert floor. You want to know why your wine tastes like minerals? This couldn’t have been more clear here!
Dominique said that he bottled this vineyard separately and naturally calls it Les Deserts. When I asked him why I’ve never tasted it, his answer was simple. “We don’t send it to America”. Naturally.
Once we were back in the cellar, I asked him if I could taste Les Deserts from the tank. Wow! Dead ringer for Premier Cru Chablis. It was that complex. How could I confuse Sauvignon Blanc with Chardonnay?? Well, it makes sense as the vines of Les Deserts are rooted in Kimmeridgian rock, the same soil you find in the best vineyards of Chablis.