There are a number of factors that we consider when choosing wines to carry but the two most important are quality and value. When we're talking about Sancerre, there are a handful of top rank producers but there really aren't many good values these days. With Sancerre of fairly ordinary quality starting at $20 in the market, $25 for the Thomas-Labaille is a crazy bargain if you know this wine. The Monts Damnés vineyard in Chavignol is considered to be the finest of all Sancerre vineyards, and of the small group of producers who make great wine here (the Cotats, Boulay etc.) this is the only one you'll see for less than $45. Wines from this dead south facing, extremely steep limestone slope don't tend to produce the typical expression of Sancerre, i.e, gooseberry, grass and pipi du chat notes. This is classic Chavignol Sauvignon Blanc which is to say pure, rich, mineral driven, lots of citrus and extraordinary complexity. These wines actually have a lot more in common with high quality Chablis.
The Thomas-Labaille wines are made the old fashioned way; organic farming, low yields from old vines, harvesting by hand, long slow fermentations and aging in neutral oak and cement. These are among the only Sancerres that improve with age but I don't know many people who allow them to survive their first year. Our tiny, annual allocation of this jewel just landed and it won't last long. A terrific choice for the Thanksgiving table as well. Another great Louis-Dressner selection.