Francois Millet Sancerre Rouge 2016

I don’t normally post about specific bottles but this one was an outlier and I need help understanding my experience. I’ve never had a Sancerre rouge before so when I saw it in my LWS it was easy to put in the cart. I didn’t even know there was such a thing.

This wine, in my opinion, was nearly undrinkable. It was crazy acidic and underripe. It felt like cab franc had some sort of bastard child. I tried searching for flaws that would explain a bad bottle but I couldn’t find any. No fruit, lots of acid, it was almost like drinking a light vinegar.

Honestly, the flaw is growing pinot in Sancerre. I’ve never had one that had any flesh on its bones. I think if we let global warming run its course we may well have some good ones in the future, but for now the region is still just too cold for pinot. (Same goes for red champagne.)

Yup as soon as I saw the heading I could imagine the tasting note to go with it

Just to note, I love Coteaux Champenois, so this might be somewhat a matter of personal taste…


I hope that this was an off bottle despite the lack of other clues that it was not. I have found some Sancerre rouge bottlings to be quite delightful. They are indeed lightweight and acidic, however I have not encountered the cab franc-like sensation in my experience thus far. I have quite enjoyed the 2014’s and some 2015’s. Paul Vattan, Dauny, and D & J Crochet have been good bottles from the 2014 vintage, and Vacheron and Girard La Garenne from 2015. The one 2016 I have tried from Tinel-Blondelet was screechy in its acidity and candied on the palate - quite strange. Perhaps it’s a vintage thing. Or, just one of those “your mileage may vary” things.

For what it’s worth, I approach this as a region that bears some exploration, and have enjoyed the research thus far.


Not a problem growing pinot in Sancerre, but one should make a rose from it.


How true, in that some of the roses from the region have been excellent. Philippe Raimbault’s Apud Sariacum comes to mind. On a hot day, steely and quite refreshing.