This intense, full-bodied red is made by the brilliant Châteauneuf du Pape producer Andre Brunel, from family owned vineyards in the village of Tavaillan. The 2011 Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Sabrine, which is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre, has just what it takes to stand up to the rigors of summer BBQ fare. It is loaded with meaty notes of blueberry, blackberry and smoke/tobacco leaf, interlaced with hints of cherry confit, a telltale component of ripe Grenache. With so much forward fruit, it can also be enjoyed lightly chilled on the deck or patio.
The crisp, vibrant style of the cool 2011 vintage plays marvelously into the understated, elegant style of the Sancerre appellation’s namesake château. Bright yellow with gold flashes at the rim, the 2011 Château de Sancerre displays an intense Sauvignon Blanc varietal bouquet of orange flower and wet stone. Vibrant flavors of citrus, melon and stone fruit float above the palate, enlivened by a rush of gentle minerality and crisp acidity toward the finish. A terrific aperitif all by itself, and a match made in heaven with a creamy chevre from our cheese department.