Menetou-Salon Rouge, Domaine Chavet 2018
Made from the Pinot Noir (like red Sancerre) Chavet's reds have always revealed a succulent strawberry and raspberry fruitiness with a good structure of soft tannins. This red is very ripe and well-rounded on the palate and has a long finish. Who cares if a Menetou red is a bit obscure when it comes to the UK - it's just these sort of wines we should be drinking more of!
The quality of any wine starts in the vineyard, look after the vines and you are going to get quality fruit, which is after all the first stage of making good wine. The Chavets are rightly proud of their vineyards. The high levels of winemaking skill and a state of the art winery are further components in the equation that results in this well balanced and tasty wine.
Menetou Salon could be considered to be the forgotten kid brother of Sancerre, maybe not quite as bright or good looking but actually really a smart but quiet little achiever. It is made from the same grape variety as Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc, in virtually the same location, the Loire valley but a few miles further west, and on the same chalk, flint and clay soils. The mystery is why it is not as well known. Perhaps it is because Sancerre is a pretty little hilltop town on one of the major north-south roads through France, maybe the publicity machine in Sancerre is better.
Loire Valley, France