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Here it is: the last rosé you’ll need this summer, and the perfect companion to autumnal feasts. We’ve long loved Philippe Gilbert’s stunning white wines from the Loire’s underappreciated Menetou-Salon appellation. Now, as we near the end of summertime, we bring you a bottle of Pinot-based rosé that carries every mark of quality that makes Philippe’s whites so special, and then some. Biodynamic farming on terroir perfect for producing poised, mineral pink wine? Check. The ideal balance between drink-me-poolside refreshment and ponder-me-tableside complexity? Check. Absolutely stunning value? Check, check, check, especially when you go deep today (save 10% on a case!). Philippe Gilbert’s bottling is that rare rosé that scales the heights of greatness without breaking the bank. Sad to say, but summer’s coming to an end. Close it out with a bang!
For years, we’ve looked to Menetou-Salon for alternatives to the much more famous (and expensive) Sauvignon Blanc of Sancerre. Menetou is literally the next appellation over, and it’s an open secret amongst sommeliers that everything that makes Sancerre special holds true here. Like Sancerre, Menetou’s vineyards are planted over Kimmeridgian limestone, perhaps the most famous bunch of rocks in the wine world. This single band of fossilized marine life imbues not just Menetou and Sancerre, but also Chablis and Champagne with the mouthwatering zip and tension wine lovers crave. And that signature mineral imprint is no less pronounced in today’s Pinot Noir rosé than it is in top Kimmeridgian-derived white wines.
The Gilbert family can trace their roots in Menetou back to 1768, when Francois Gilbert left his job as tavern-keeper to take control of his father-in-law’s vineyards. It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century, however, that the estate took on its present shape of twenty-seven hectares encompassing some of the appellation’s most prized Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir plots. The estate’s current proprietor, Philippe Gilbert, left a successful career in the arts to take the reins when his father retired. He’s breathed new life into this storied domaine; for over twenty years now, he’s farmed organically, and five years ago he achieved biodynamic certification. Philippe continues to push the family farm into new and thrilling directions, bottling wine from their oldest vines separately and going so far as to produce completely sulfur-free wines from them in the best vintages.
Philippe’s 2022 Menetou-Salon Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, whole cluster pressed into stainless steel and fermented spontaneously. It pours a pale salmon color, with shimmers of silver at the edges. On first pour, you’re immediately struck by the purity of bright berry fruit and thrumming minerality. Just-ripe raspberry, white cherry, strawberry, grapefruit zest, peach pit, and delicate pink flower aromatics commingle with pulverized chalk and wet river rocks. The palate is marked by deep concentration of stone fruits and pink berries, framed by electric acidity and a pulsingly mineral finish. It’s a pink wine with the structure of a serious white, as ready to please as an apéritif as it is tableside with a multi-course meal. As we wrap up rosé season, you’ll want enough of this beauty to serve in both situations over the next few months and right up through the holidays, so load up!
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