The magic of the 2019 vintage in France truly reveals itself in wines like my friend Valentin Moindrot’s drop-dead gorgeous Pinot Noir, Domaine de Loye Menetou-Salon Rouge. Throughout central and eastern France, an early-spring frost severely limited yields, the putting the fear of a difficult vintage at the front in the mind of every French wine-grower. But then Mother Nature gave back, as she often does, with a warm and dry growing season, slowly nurturing to near perfection in the few grapes that remained on the vine.
In places like Menetou-Salon, better known for electric white wine, this unique combination of low yields and perfect sun made for lights out red wine, Pinot Noir that just bursts from the glass. Valentin calls it the red wine vintage of his lifetime. One taste of his dark, concentrated Pinot with layers of fruit and a firm, fresh finish and I think you’ll agree. The frost limits the offer, Valentin could only make a couple of barrels in ’19. Click here to cash in on a Pinot that drinks like Burgundy twice its price.
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 wines. Valentin says the special limestone imparts the fine aromatics and tension while the old-vines and clay providing the concentration in the mid palate, creating an incredibly balanced summer red.
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