HomeAbout UsWine ReviewsArchivesAdvertiseContact Us


Whitley On Wine

Wine Review Online Radio

W.R. Tish

Leslie Sbrocco

International Wine Center

The Great Wines of America

Wine Style Book

Gold Medal Wines

New York Times 'The Pour'


Critics Challenge

San Diego International


WRO Wine Blog

October 26, 2014

For the Love of Sancerre

Sometime over the past year I stumbled across a Sancerre that proved addicting, making me fall in love all over again with this beautiful wine from France's Loire Valley.

The producer is Roger Naudet & Fils and the wine is Domaine des Buissonnes. The current vintage I am drinking (I just purchased a new case) is 2013 and it retails for an average price of $23 according to Wine-Searcher.com.

Like many of you who are enthusiastic consumers of Sauvignon Blanc, my taste runs the gamut. When in Bordeaux I enjoy the richness and warmth and the fresh white peach aroma of top-notch Graves and Pessac-Leognan blanc. At home I savor the freshness and complexity of Sauvignons from Sonoma County, particularly the Russian River Valley. And in general I am a huge fan of the pungent Sauvignons from New Zealand's Marlborough region, especially when feasting on freshly shucked oysters or steamed clams.

Sancerre has seemed to take a back seat in the face of all the worldwide Sauvignon competition in recent years. The reasons are many, but mostly rooted in the fact that Sancerre producers tend to be small operations and even when imported to the U.S. by a major player, America is a huge market and there is only so much Sancerre to go around.

I discovered Domaine des Buissonnes at one of my favorite neighbrhood restaurants, Brooklyn Girl, owned and operated by my friends Michael and Victoria McGeath. Michael is a true wine aficionado. He's been in the restaurant business close to four decades and he makes the wine-buying decisions at Brooklyn Girl, which also has a small wine shop for off-premise sales.

Buissonnes is a beautifully balanced, elegant Sancerre that delivers succulent citrus aromas, with inviting minerality and mouth-watering, juicy acidity. By today's standards the alcohol by volume is low at 12.5 percent, so you can drink more than a glass with lunch and go back to work.

But, more than anything, it reminds me of all that I loved about Sancerre when I discovered it as a young journalist in New York in the early 1970s. I'm still big on other styles of Sauvignon, but I'm finally back to Sancerre and enjoying every last drop of my latest purchase.

Posted by Robert Whitley at 1:10 PM

October 1, 2014

Wine Review Online Welcomes New Columnist Jim Clarke

I’m pleased to welcome Jim Clarke to the ranks of WRO Wine Columnists.  I’ve known Jim for more than a decade, and have followed his varied career with great interest.  He’s written for us previously as a guest columnist, and has a long list of publications in impressive venues including, World of Fine Wine, The Wine Spectator, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Beverage Media, Star Chefs, and Forbes.com.

Jim studied wine with the American Sommelier Association and worked as sommelier and wine director in New York for several years, initially as the Wine Director of Megu New York, one of the city’s leading high-end Japanese restaurants, with locations in Tribeca and Midtown, and then at Armani Ristorante, inside the clothing company's flagship store on Fifth Avenue.

In September 2013 Jim left the restaurant industry to join Wines of South Africa, where he now works as Marketing Manager.  We abide by high standards of journalistic ethics here at WRO, and consequently Jim won’t be writing about South African wines for us, but his broad experience, insightful writing and keen palate will enable him to illuminate many other dimensions of the wide world of wine.

When I mention “broad experience,” I might also note as an aside that, from 1996 to 2001, Clarke resided overseas in London, Holland and Germany, obtaining his Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music and pursuing further graduate work in Music Composition.  Early in 2001, Jim ventured back to the States and took up residence in New York City.  During a stint waiting tables at Isabella’s, he was introduced to BR Guest Hospitality’s beverage training program.  It was at Isabella’s that his love for wine ignited.  He was taken under the wing of Master Sommelier Greg Harrington, attending Harrington’s internal “Wine College” and “Advanced Wine College.”  In 2003, Clarke turned toward wine as a career, enrolling with the American Sommelier Association for their 20-week Vinification course and 15-week Blind Tasting Course, successfully completing both.

Look for Jim’s column on white wines from Washington state in this week’s issue, as well as forthcoming columns on a wide range of topics in the months ahead.

--Michael Franz
Posted by Michael Franz at 3:25 PM