by Russ Anderson on March 7, 2017

The dictionary tells us the word “standard” is “an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations.”

In the world of wine, standards still exist but are sometimes obscured by the influence of marketing. Standards in the wine world, perhaps the world at large, remind me of the archery target at summer camp. Although there is a bullseye, it was large enough for more than one arrow.

Standards do still exist in the world of wine and are worth trying both for education and as with todays examples, enjoyment as well. It doesn’t mean they will be everyone’s favorites, but they do present an exemplary style for their individual region and grape. Two of the most popular white grapes in the wine world are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

1bChotard Sancerre – Sancerre is always 100% Sauvignon Blanc and one of the better known wines from France as it is so ubiquitously served at Parisian restaurants. This bottling from Chotard, the 2015 vintage, is a stellar example of wine from the region. To me it seems to have a perfect balance of rich fruity grapefruit and citrus flavors Sauvignon Blanc is known for with the racy and crisp minerality the Sancerre region is known for. It simply bursts with vivacious flavor and a zippy mouth feel, completely enjoyable now but truly amazing when summer gets in to full swing.

If you like Sauvignon Blanc, this is worth trying for further exploration of the grape and the region of Sancerre. If you know you like either of the two, I would stock up at least a 6 pack of this delicious wine to share with family and friends over the next 6 months. It will pair well with a range of summer fair from salads, excellent with goat cheeses, fresh fish, grilled veggies and more. A true value in Sancerre at $25.

1aPerrusset Macon Villages – Here is a great standard for the Chardonnay fan looking to avoid the heavy handed use of wood. Burgundy is the spiritual home for great Chardonnay for products around the world. Quality focused producers in the Macon region, like Perrusset, present fantastic value wines that offer tremendous amounts of flavor for their price point.

Crisp minerality lies in the finish of this wines but this 2016 vintage has rich notes of tropical fruit and dried mango on the mid-palate. I was surprised at the balance and richness of the palate this year. It is a great value capable of aging wonderfully as well. We were lucky enough to try a 2007 bottle of this wine during our recent trip through France. It was still lively and delicious while starting to round out and soften on the palate.

Perrusset’s wines are one of the best ways to start an evening with friends, delicious as an aperitif and a wonderful accompaniment to most first courses. At $18, this is a standard worth exploring or more likely stocking up on.

To help facilitate people trying these, I am offering 5% off 6 bottles (mix and match) or 12% off a case (mix and match.)

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