Sancerre, the wine that comes from vineyards in the village of Sancerre and the surrounding communes in the eastern or upper part of the Loire River valley in France, is highly sought after by many wine experts and enthusiasts. The area of Sancerre is recognized as producing the most distinctive wines in the region so these labels come with a commensurate price tag - bottles start in the $25 to $30 range.
While you can find red and rosé Sancerre, the more familiar white Sancerre is, by law, 100% Sauvignon Blanc. This grape dominates this entire wine region in France and that includes villages located west of Sancerre that aren't allowed to label their wines "Sancerre." Such as it is in Touraine, the area between Sancerre and the city of Tours - same region, same grape, same climate, but technically not in Sancerre.
And therein lies a noteworthy secret. The wines from other parts of the region, labeled Sauvignon Blanc "Touraine" or "Val De Loire" offer very similar wines if they come from good winemakers. Since these wines are not from the famous village of Sancerre, they cannot charge the heftier price tag, so we see these surprisingly comparable wines on the shelf starting at $15.
Call them siblings or cousins of Sancerre but know that if you want to avoid the Sancerre price tag, yet you like that French style of Sauvignon Blanc, these wines deserve exploration.