Love Sancerre, but can't justify splashing out? Look to neighbouring Giennois, the vineyards of which also grow fine Sauvignon on the same limestone soils. But it's still little known, so wines are superb value. Enjoy this stony, lime fresh white.
As the search for value continues, the sleepy little wine town of Giens in Central Loire is coming into its own. It has much the same soil and climate as Sancerre next door yet remains less well known. On a recent trip there our Buyer met François and Michel Quintin and was really impressed by their 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyards of Giens were wiped out by phylloxera at the end of the 19th century but the Quintin brothers re-established 10 hectares of vines on one of the region's best former sites in 1991. Now the vines produce intensely flavoured grapes and this classic Sauvignon with its lime peel, freshly cut grass and hint of gun flint characters. A rewarding choice with spicy crab pasta, goat's cheese salad or lemon sole.