In October, we were lucky enough to have Patrick Hub visit us at Tablas Creek. Patrick is the proprietor of Olympic Wine Merchant, the top wine shop in Olympia, Washington. We spent much of the day in the cellar and in the vineyard, and generally got into the how and why of Tablas Creek more intensively than is possible anywhere outside of the winery.
A few weeks later, we received as a thank you a few bottles of a 2006 Chavignol Sancerre from Thomas-Labaille with the intriguing name "Les Monts Damnés" (literally translated as "the Damned Mountains"). I took it home a few days later and opened it with friends last weekend.
The wine was a revelation, really as good (for me, at least) as Sauvignon Blanc gets. The rocks of the Sancerre region come through so clearly in the wine that you feel like you're there. The citrus fruit is present but does not dominate the mineral character, and there isn't a trace of the weediness or herbaceousness you get with so many New World Sauvignon Blancs. Overall, just a wonderful expression of why Sancerre remains the pinnacle for everyone who makes Sauvignon Blanc.
Even better (like most Loire whites) it's not a particularly expensive wine. I did a Web search, and it's generally available in the low-$20 range. If you can find one, you're in for a treat!