2018 Remoortere Menetou-Salon Blanc
Region: Menetou Salon < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; calcareous Kimmeridgian soil; stainless steel fermented, no oak; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal So2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Antoine Van Remoortere
NEW VINTAGE ALERT!
If you like Sancerre, you'll LOVE this beauty, which is zingy Loire Valley Sauv Blanc at its best. Menetou-Salon is the AOC that's right next door to Sancerre, with the same fossil-rich limestone soils that give Sancerre its signature zing. Yet this one is totally clean and organic, a rarity in these (fairly industrial) parts.
Joseph Remoortere left Belgium in the late 1960s to farm cereal grains in France. He eventually moved from cereal to grapes, and in 1990 took over the vineyards of neighbouring Château de Maupas. Now retired, he has passed the reigns onto his son, Antoine, poster child for the younger generation of natural winemakers in France. They leave the coop to learn from their idols around the world, then return home to the family vineyard with big ideas and a passion for working with less intervention and “modern” techniques, rather than more. Antoine now farms his 4-hectare vineyard organically, ferments with native yeasts and adds nothing but a small amount of SO2 at bottling – so what you’re tasting is that famous chalky limestone soil full of fossilized shells. This is pure, pristine Loire Sauv Blanc, with vibrant acidity and grapefruit, grassy, flinty and deeply mineral notes. Not as linear or racy as in some vintages, the warmer 2018 vintage gives this wine a rounder, more opulent texture, which you notice mid-palate before the refreshing wave of acid sweeps in and cleans everything up. A seriously delicious glass, on par with the best in Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé - but costing a good $10+ less than wines from these flashier appellations. Try with fresh goat cheese or a bright, crunchy salad.