2012 Sancerre “La Vigne aux Filles”

Sancerre, France; 12.5% ABV
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 6 Nov

2012_Sancerre_LaVigneAuxFillesThis bottle had been $16 and was marked down to $5 a little before the sale, and was selling quickly at that price.  I was lucky the Berkeley store wine manager discovered a few cases and put them out on the first morning of the sale.  It was gone before I left the store.

When I opened this wine last night, I thought it was tasty enough but not all that fun to drink.  It had typical Sauvignon Blanc flavors of lemon and yellow melon with a little green, but those flavors seemed to run pretty quickly into a solid mineral wall through which I could not taste much.  Tonight, the rest of the bottle in the fridge opened up a little, showing more green melon, but it was not really much more accessible.  I’m not very knowledgeable about Sancerre, but it strikes me that the main value in this wine at present is its aging ability.  It would have been interesting to get a few to put in cool storage for several years, but for near-term drinking, I’m glad I have the Pouilly-Fumé instead.

This is one of the wines I tasted in the parking lot.  At ambient Berkeley temperature, I did not detect the strong minerality.  Instead, there I tasted quite subtle flowers, whiter pear and melon, with a little green.  At the time, that taste made me think there wasn’t much to this wine, but I got one bottle to see what the fuss was about.  If you tried it, or have experience with aged Sancerre (or other Sauvignon Blanc), what do you think?


19 thoughts on “2012 Sancerre “La Vigne aux Filles”

  1. Russ Winton

    This Sancerre has become my house white. I think it’s terrific for $4.99. White peach/pear notes, minerality and crisp acidity. My mistake was not buying more than a case. I think the Merced Store has a bit left.

    1. Darrell

      I purchased some during the Nov. sale and am letting them age a bit since I found the wine a little leesy. I hope this will blow over and instead am drinking the 2010 and 2011 Guirault Pouilly Fume in its stead, both being the same price as the Sancerre. I can’t believe the Pouilly
      Fume originally listed at $10 while the 2012 Sancerre “La Vigne aux Filles” originally listed at $60, according to GO. At $10/ bottle I would have tried the Guirault from any store so at $4/ bottle on the sale it was as G. L. Pease said, “a dead steal. “

    2. Darrell

      Vacaville GO has some left at the $16 level. Since ITWC has found a nice bottle in Grass Valley, I now check out GO stores along the I-80 corridor. Don, now I know where the Roseville store is , but I couldn’t find the Rocklin store.

        1. Darrell

          Since you asked, I decided to open a bottle which I hadn’t tried since the Nov. 2013 sale when there was a “ridiculously bargainacious at $4” sale price. So it is now a year+ older since then and I waited since it was, as you said, “a current release” and I found it leesy and fermentation bouquet then. Addressing the nose only, I like it better now since it isn’t so “fresh” and more complex of a grapefruity SB character. It is a steely, mineral French type Loire with a not too intense nose, M-. SB, we may have done better in purchasing the 2010 and 2011 Guirault Pouilly Fume at the same price both of which have a M+ nose and distinctly Sauvignon. Like it much, much better than that Touraine though.

            1. seedboy

              And I do still have some of those Fume Blancs, plus one from the 2008 vintage that only the Petaluma store has. I probably have 2.5 cases of Loire SB from the GO right now.

            2. Darrell

              I checked the Petaluma store for that Pouilly Fume and didn’t see any about 2 weeks ago. Is or was the 2008 the same winemaker? Like you, I, too, have a _ _ _ _ load of Loire and NZ SB’s and I am not worried about them going over the hill soon. Not all the Loire wines are of notable appellations either. There was one Vin de Pays du Val de Loire by Charles Dupuy just labeled as a SB that I liked, both 2007 and 2008.

  2. BargainWhine Post author

    This morning at the Berkeley store, Robaire pointed out to me that he had found one extra bottle of this and put it on the shelves, so I bought it and will lay it down for quite some time. I believe some of you Sauvignon Blanc agers here advocate a decade or so?

  3. Seedboy

    This wine is a bit unusual for us GO shoppers because it is a current release. I bought one at $15.99 and liked it, the price reduction lead to another case. I did not wait for the sale; I’d looked at what else was available, figured this was the best deal of the bunch, and it would not be available long.

  4. BargainWhine Post author

    On the third night, this wine finally opened up and was delicious, with complex flavors of yellow fruits (lime, pear, lemon blossoms, and a little apple), acid of ripe lemon and green lime, still with good minerality. Wow! Maybe two days in a covered decanter in the fridge would get the same result?

  5. G.L. Pease

    I bought this wine at the higher price, and felt it worth every penny. When my local store (Pinole) lowered it to $5, I got four bottles. I should have bought a case, but the sale was coming, and who doesn’t like to save a buck? Some greedy bastage came in the morning of the sale and bought it all. Five cases. When I went to Berkeley, I discovered the same thing had happened, only it was eight cases. I figure they’re reselling. Probably restaurants putting it in the wine list at $30. Suffice to say, I think this wine was a bargain at the original price, a steal at $5, and ridiculously bargainacious at $4. I only wish I hd more than four bottles to share with friends. Yes, it’ll linger for a few years, but it’s actually a really nice example of a Sancerre now. I’d have been thrilled to get a full case. In a few years, this one will be a Sancerre to reckon with.

    1. Expat

      You loved it and didn’t buy more on the spot to save $1 a bottle? Tough lesson to learn.
      I have to check myself at times and ignore the sale dynamic. 20% off on an inexpensive wine isn’t even the cost of gas for a return trip. Thanks for the review – I’ll see if it’s at my local GO’s.

      1. JoelA

        Anyone want to check Berkeley restaurants to see who bought those five cases? Anyone want to bet they’ll be charging more than five dollars a glass for it? If I had a restaurant, that’s what I’d be doing. But I’d be charging only five dollars a glass. And my customers (except for those of us in the know) would understand they’d still be getting a great deal.

    2. BargainWhine Post author

      At the Berkeley store on that first morning of the sale, there was someone who bought two, maybe three cases of this wine, but I feel pretty sure he’s not a reseller. And there was still a half case on the floor when I got there…


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