I dined recently at one of my favorite New York restaurants, Eleven Madison Park. It's one of the best tables in the city. Though always excellent, the level of cuisine and wine elevated when chef Daniel Humm and wine director John Ragan came to EMP three years ago. Ragan offers several fine choices by the glass, and there are many half-bottles on the list.
To start, I ordered a glass of the Yves Martin Sancerre for $14. As it came from the 2007 vintage, I knew it would be crisp and pure. It also comes from one of the top villages in this Loire Valley appellation, Chavignol.
Piercing scents of gooseberry, cut grass and lemon zest introduced this racy white, while citrus and melon flavors cavorted on the palate. Balanced on a wire, its finish left a mouthwatering impression. 90 points, non-blind.
This is the kind of wine that makes a great aperitif, or accompaniment to light summer dishes and salads. It's complex enough to contemplate, yet ideal for picnics or outdoor dining.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Yves Martin Sancerre Chavignol 2007 (88, $28).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Sancerres.