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Sam Platt

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WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Sam Platt » Tue May 02, 2006 9:37 am

I really, really want to like Sancerre. I really do. Now I've tasted Sancerre from 8 different producers and 11 different vintages. Unfortunately, the first Sancerre that I ever tasted, from the unheralded Domaine Du Nozay, was by far the best Sancerre that I ever tasted. The others, including this Vacheron, have been total duds. Maybe I just don't get the style. I'll take the SB from NZ any day.

2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

Color: Light straw

Nose: Minimal. Perhaps a hint of white fruit and a little grass. Just plain lacking even after warming in the glass for about 10 minutes.

Taste: Mineral water with a slice of lemon. Dilute "Citrus-Aid".

Unless I stumble onto a bottle of Domain Du Nozay I am hereby off Sancerre.
Sam

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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Jenise » Tue May 02, 2006 12:42 pm

This wine sounds tight, shut down. But even if it was, one of the other many bottles you've tried should have done something for you if you were going to like the leaner, more mineral style of SB. But hey, if New Zealand makes what you love, then there's no reason to despair--your needs are met.

Have you tried South Africa's SB's?
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Sam Platt » Tue May 02, 2006 2:32 pm

Jenise wrote:Have you tried South Africa's SB's?


Jenise,

Yes. I enjoy the more fruit forward style of the S.A. SB's. I have had several of the Mulderbosch SB's and highly recommend it. However, I enjoy the more minerally style of the NZ's as well. Friends have suggested that I am turned off by the minerality of Sancerre, but I don't think that's it at all. I find the style simply way too bland. Most of the examples I have tasted really do remind me of water with a lemon slice. There's not even a nice acid zip to liven the style up a bit.

Sam
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Otto » Tue May 02, 2006 2:50 pm

Sam Platt wrote:There's not even a nice acid zip to liven the style up a bit.

Sam


Ööörrmmm? No acid zip? Just a question - as this sounds so atypical for the wines - have you bought your wines from a same source? And could they have had problems with heat during transportation or in storage? I don't really care for them either (nor SB in general) but one thing I've never noted in them is lack of acid zip!
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Sam Platt » Tue May 02, 2006 4:45 pm

Otto,

Yes. I have purchased all of my Sancerre from the same source. It is a wine shop where I make approximately 80% of all my wine purchases. I suppose it is possible that the Sancerre has been damaged in transit, or storage, but I think it is unlikely since they have been purchased over a couple of years. If someone wishes to suggest a Sancerre that they have enjoyed I will be happy to purchase it from another source and give it a go. In the mean time my taste buds will be merrily working their way through Piedmonte reds.
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Hoke » Tue May 02, 2006 4:59 pm

Based solely on what you've said in this thread, Sam, I'd venture to say that you tend to prefer the somewhat exaggerated style of extreme cold-climate Sauvignon Blancs, as opposed to the warmer climate renditions, which would include the Loire (Sancerre) and Bordeaux, West Coast US, South America and Australia as a general category.

Since your faves seem to be NZ and SA, I'd further venture to say tha what you are responding to is that particular combination of forward fruit (more in the tropical zone?) with the pyrazine-driven herbal/herbaceousness of only partially ripe fruit. SB in warmer climes tends to bring out more the floral qualities (CA and WA and Chile); whereas the moderate riverine climes, such as Sancerre/Pouilly Fume tend to depress the more "green" pyrazine elements and focus on the citric fruits and the earthy minerality.

Machts nicht, as the Germans might say though: there are those who love the Sancerres and can't stand the over-the-top aggressive green-ness of NZ SB. Me, I like them all, but for different reasons. Guess it's like apples: I like almost all apples, even though some are more favorite than others.

Have you also explored the Touraine SBs (not the same as Sancerre, I can assure you), the Norheastern Italians and the Austrians? Hey, even Burgundy has an AOC desginated Sauvignon Blanc now. There's even more SB out there for you to experience! :)
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by JC (NC) » Tue May 02, 2006 7:01 pm

My favorite Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc wines have been from Cotat, Francois and Pascal. Usually I prefer Francois's style. You pay more for Cotat wines but the Mont Damnees (cursed for its steep hillside I presume) is one of the best S.B. wines I've had. I like New Zealand S.B. also unless it goes too far over to the asparagus side (I want to know I'm having a wine, not liquid asparagus). If you haven't yet tried a Cotat, you might seek one one. But then, I also enjoy Sancerres from Reverdy, Salomon, Mellot and others.
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Lou Kessler » Tue May 02, 2006 9:22 pm

I'll second what Hoke said. I've tasted the 04 Vacheron and find it to be a good example of Sancerre. I found it to have a good finish with plenty of acid.
Hey, there probably just not you cup of tea. PS I love a good NZ SB. :roll:
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Sam Platt » Thu May 04, 2006 10:55 am

Based on all of your comments I have come to the conclusion that Sancerre is just not my 'cup of tea'. Apparently my taste buds are numb to the subtlety of the style. If anyone happens on a bottle of the Domaine du Nozay Sancerre I would be interested in how you think it compares to the standard of the breed. Perhaps my taste buds were miscalibrated during my first Sancerre tasting.

Thanks to everyone for their input.
Sam

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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Otto » Thu May 04, 2006 4:57 pm

If someone wishes to suggest a Sancerre that they have enjoyed I will be happy to purchase it from another source and give it a go. In the mean time my taste buds will be merrily working their way through Piedmonte reds.

Anyone else ever had Dezat's? I thought that was ok - but remember I don't really like the grape so I couldn't really say... ;) But I agree, it is better to stick to Piemontese reds instead! They rock!
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Jul 22, 2006 2:34 am

Sam Platt wrote:Based on all of your comments I have come to the conclusion that Sancerre is just not my 'cup of tea'. Apparently my taste buds are numb to the subtlety of the style. If anyone happens on a bottle of the Domaine du Nozay Sancerre I would be interested in how you think it compares to the standard of the breed. Perhaps my taste buds were miscalibrated during my first Sancerre tasting.

Thanks to everyone for their input.


Sam, how about Sauvignon de Touraine?? Saw a couple of new ones this evening, think I am ready for a good whiff of "cats pee". To this lover of SB, they are quite different from say NZ, SA etc. Wonder if the style has changed?
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Rahsaan » Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:35 am

I really, really want to like Sancerre. I really do.


Why? What about it intrigues you?

I ask not because I don't think Sancerre is worth liking, but just wondering what you want to like it so much?

I have that myself sometimes with wines or grapes that I want to like, usually because they are made by some obscure fellow in some high-acid steep vineyarded corner of the world. And, we can't like em all..
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Sam Platt » Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:13 pm

Rahsaan wrote:Why? What about it intrigues you?


Rahsaan, a number of things lead me to believe that I would like Sancerre. First, I generally like wine of all types from France. Second, I enjoy many wines from the Loire, including Pouilly Fume. Third, I enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, particularly as it is done in New Zealand. I probably came to Sancerre with too many preconceived notions of what I would experience. Perhaps that set the stage for my disappointment. As you say, "We can't like 'em all". Half the fun is in finding out what I like, and what I don't.
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by GeoCWeyer » Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:17 pm

I have about 6 bottles left fron my annual case purchase of Vacheron. I had a bottle Saturday night with sushi. To my palate the 2004 is an OK Sancerre but no where the equal of the lovely 2002! I think you somehow received a bottle that for some reason had shut down. As the saying goes, "There are no good wines but there are good bottles of wine."..or something like that.
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by David Creighton » Mon Jul 24, 2006 3:02 pm

i think you are quite correct. vacheron tends to have a more subtle style anyway - that just didn't work out well in '04. but the '02 - well, that was the real deal.

for our sancerre hating friend, maybe we should recommend menetou salon - usually a bit more lush, i think. but if the slightly unripe grass of nz appeals, maybe that is the right place for him.
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Rahsaan » Mon Jul 24, 2006 5:47 pm

Rahsaan, a number of things lead me to believe that I would like Sancerre. First, I generally like wine of all types from France. Second, I enjoy many wines from the Loire, including Pouilly Fume


Now that is curious, as Pouilly Fume and Sancerre are certainly different, but not that different that one would expect to like one and detest the other. But hey, such is the curious world of palates..
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Sam Platt » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:15 pm

Rahsaan, I don't understand it either. The Pouilly Fume I've had seems to have substance and character to it. On the other hand the Sancerre puts me in mind of water with a lemon wedge floating in it. I can't say that I "detest" Sancerre I simply don't prefer it.
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Re: WTN: 2004 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

by Rahsaan » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:58 pm

The Pouilly Fume I've had seems to have substance and character to it. On the other hand the Sancerre puts me in mind of water with a lemon wedge floating in it.


But given those preferences, I'm surprised nobody has recommended Cotat thus far. They produce some of the most substance-filled (sometimes with r.s.) and character filled "Sancerre" around (they don't always get the Sancerre AOC because of the sugar, and of course their wines are considered to transcend appellation anyway). So I would definitely try them if I were you.

But, in general, I'm sure you'll have plenty of wine to drink from all sorts of regions..

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