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2002 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre, Loire, France

There's nothing like Sancerre (known anywhere else it grows as Sauvignon Blanc) to go with oysters and other shellfish. I happen to be a big fan of Loire sav blanc-based wines. One interesting thing I learned recently is that there are bottles of red wine sold as Sancerre, of course, made in the same region, but containing Pinot Noir grapes instead of Sauvignon Blanc. Not knowing a huge amount about the various sub-regions or chateaus of this region, up until recently I have often bought Sancerres and Pouilly-Fume wines blindly, just counting on generally good winemaking practices and the solid grapes of the area. In this case, I opted for a waiter's recommendation, and was not disappointed.

For more information on this wine check out the estate's Web site.

Tasting Notes:
This wine is a sparkling clear golden hay color in the glass, its youngness driving it border on near colorlessness. It has a nose of green apples and asian pears, with light hints of honeysuckle. Its zippy and refreshing in the mouth with a nice acidity that spreads flavors of kiwi, alfalfa, apples, and clover honey with a clean short finish. I loved the acidity of this wine and its steadfast refusal to finish towards the flinty end of the spectrum that some Sancerres are pushed towards (not that there's anything wrong with that - I enjoy a mineral quality if done correctly).

Food pairing: Well, as I said, it went down like a dream with a dozen oysters and red wine vinager mignonette sauce. However I would love to drink this with a goat cheese and sauteed chanterelle mushrooms on toasted bread rounds, or a greek salad.

Overall Score: 8

How Much?: I paid $23 Euros (~$28) in the restaurant for it, but if you can find it in a retail store I'd guess you'd probably pay around $20.

This wine will probably be hard to find in the US, but if anyone has success in tracking it down, let me know -- I'll buy it again if I can.

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