n the ‘80s, awareness about Loire Valley white wines was isolated to Sancerre. Honestly, awareness hasn’t changed much through today, I’d guess that the vast majority of the Loire Valley white wine sold in the US is still Sancerre. We sell and drink our fair share too, it’s hard to beat the accessibility and food-friendliness of Sancerre and Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc in general. But that popularity has come at a price. A decade ago, great Sancerre was available in good supply at $20. Today? The best ones start at $30 and quickly escalate from there. Fantastic for our friends growing grapes in Sancerre but I’m stubborn, I am always looking for a better deal.
As you know, to find value in any wine growing region, you have to get off the beaten path. So in January of 2019, I did just that, driving south and west from Sancerre and the Loire River to the gently rolling hills of Menetou-Salon. The best of our visits that day was with Valentin Moindrot of Domaine de Loye, an irresistibly happy guy whose wines will make you feel just about the same way! Valentin’s dad founded the estate in 1970 with vines his grandfather planted in the ‘50s.
These old vines are rooted in deep limestone, and dry, limestone-infused clay. This mineral soil adds great vibrancy to their Sauvignon, loaded with aromas and flavors of white flowers, lime-blossom and citrus fruit. His 2018 Menetou-Salon juicy enough to be delicious on its own poolside and but with a nervy, high-toned backbone that makes it perfect at any table. Don’t miss it!
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