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Wines Under $20

Sancerre Alternative

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Starting this time of year through the fall, New York City's eternally crowded scenester restaurant, Balthazar, goes through something like a billion cases of Sancerre a week. This minerally French Sauvignon Blanc is intensely refreshing on a hot day, but thanks to its popularity, good, cheap Sancerre is a rarity. So I was thrilled to find another, equally satisfying Sauvignon Blanc from France's Loire Valley: the gulpable 2008 Domaine du Salvard Cheverny ($15). It's got that telltale Sauvignon grassiness along with ripe yet tart apple flavors. There's a slight richness (thanks to the touch of Chardonnay in the blend) along with plenty of snappy acidity and clean minerality. In other words, tough wine not to like... — Kristin R. Donnelly

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