Fourth-generation Paul-Henry Pellé organically farms 40 hectares of vines in the kimmeridgian-centric village of Morogues in the appellation of Menetou-Salon. It’s a small appellation of just 30 wineries, with only 5-10 that are really focused on quality. Pellé isn’t focused on quality… he’s obsessed with it.
Since 1982, the Pellés have been getting into their car and driving 30 minutes northeast to cultivate just 4 hectares of Sancerre vines in Montigny compared to their 40 of Menetou. This isn’t just a ‘labor of love’ for the Pellés. It’s also about honor and pride and proving they belong in a seat at the table with the best wineries of the Loire.
The past 40+ years of honoring the land, not taking shortcuts and very deliberately building their brand has gotten them to the point where their wines make one drop a year in the States and immediately get gobbled up by all those in the know. Today, with just over ¼ of the total imported U.S. allotment, we FINALLY join that exclusive group ourselves.
Paul-Henry’s 2022 Sancerre la Croix au Garde is a beauty. Medium-body with a racy burst of citrus and stone fruit at the beginning, with laser-like focus and a razor sharp minerality that pierces throughout the mouth through to the finish. It’s a bright, fresh Sancerre that’s not too weighty but has plenty of nuance and even some depth. No doubt, it’s one you can enjoy for the next decade.
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Just 20 cases of this crazy small, rare and elite import managed to find their wine to America, and I scooped up five of them for Nicholas wines. This is a fabulous Cru Sancerre that showcases one of the finest vineyards in Sancerre from the lights-out 2019 vintage in the Loire Valley. It comes from Cul de Beaujeu, one of Chavignol’s most famous vineyards, with an incline of up to 60 degrees! It’s old-vine Sancerre grown on Kimmeridgian clay and limestone with all the vineyard work and harvesting done by hand. It truly represents the creme de la creme.
Etienne Daulny is the latest in a very long line of Daulnys to farm Sauvignon Blanc near the tiny hamlet of Verdigny in the appellation of Sancerre. He is currently in charge of farming over twenty small parcels including some incredibly well respected fifty-year-old vines. This is a classic Sancerre, aromatically dynamic, with intense fruit, distinct minerality and blazing acidity. It’s the white wine we drink most often at home. Beautiful structure and length to this with a youthful vibrancy that shines throughout.