North316 wrote:Did you get any of the Domaine de la Perrière Sancerre from LB? If so, where would that fit on this spectrum?
LOL I'm really not an expert, but just culling what I can from remembering my recent SB drinking. Sancerre is a Loire wine, and therefore cooler climate, grassy and perhaps gooseberry, often with mineral from the chalk soil. From memory, and I haven't had any quality ones recently, but a couple of adequate offerings, they are less intense than NZ SBs, but not warm enough to get the relaxed tropicals of the South African ones. But I wasn't trying top-end Sancerre, and it's been far too long since I did and my palate has evolved far too much!
Generally, quality French dry white wine is more austere, less overtly fruity and has more malic and old-word acidic undertones, looking for rounded subtle complexity in the acids and phenolics (or whatever you call the harsher, subtler non-fruit white-wine flavours) as well as the fruit. They may be less obviouly fruit-n-herb driven, more austere and less accessible to new-world drinkers, but cellar longer. I've no idea if they use ML or on-the-lees either, but I believe not.
I think you've catalysed me to dredge out memories and analysis to the edge of my knowledge now! With any luck, rpm, Scott or another can provide more experienced enlightenment
EDIT the Wikipedias are interesting on the subject:
"Sancerre is often compared to neighboring Pouilly-Fumé which also specializes in 100% Sauvignon blanc wines, and while there are some differences, wine experts like Robinson, Johnson and Karen MacNeil note that only very experienced tasters can distinguish the differences in a blind tasting. Broadly speaking, Sancerre tends to have a fuller body with more pronounced aromas, while Pouilly-Fumé wines are more perfumed. However, both wines have naturally high acidity and the potential to exhibit the minerally, flinty notes described as pierre à fusil or gunflint, as well as citrus and spicy notes.
Similarly Sancerre is compared to Sauvignon blancs produced around the globe. According to Master of wine Mary Ewing-Mulligan, Sancerre tends to be less herbaceous and grassy than Sauvignon blancs from New Zealand and the Alto-Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. Compared to Sauvignon blanc grown in Bordeaux, which are often blended with Semillon, Sancerre can be both more concentrated with more racy acidity. When contrasted with New World examples from California, Washington, Chile and South Africa, Sancerre tends to exhibit more assertive mineral flavors."