Highlights: the first evening in Sancerre begins with two great bottles

I’m in the Centre Loire region of France for a few days, beginning in Sancerre. Arriving quite late, there was time for a quick dinner in town, and two superb bottles from the wine list at La Taverne du Connétable.

Bernard Fleuriet et fils Sancerre Pur Lux 2020 Loire, France
13% alcohol. This cuvée is made from selected bunches pressed and then fermented and aged in concrete eggs without any added sulphites. This is a beautifully textured, fresh and mineral expression of Sancerre. Lovely citrus core, some green apple, a touch of elderflower and some fine green hints. This has a beautiful crystalline quality, fine texture and a trace of salinity. Mineral and spicy with just a hint of nice reduction. 94/100

Domaine Denizot Sancerre Rouge Les Beaux Regards 2021 Loire, France
13% alcohol. A stunning Pinot Noir that ranks as one of the best Sancerre Rouge I’ve tasted. Brooding, dark, spicy and mineral with a touch of smoky tarry character. Complex and grippy with lovely taut berry and black fruits – this has a chalky gravelly edge and nice acidity. This is a really impressive Pinot from limestone soils. Very fine with some nice angular edges. 94/100