2022 Domaine Jean Teiller, Menetou-Salon Blanc
2022 Domaine Jean Teiller, Menetou-Salon Blanc

2022 Domaine Jean Teiller, Menetou-Salon Blanc

Loire Valley, France 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$35.00

2022 Domaine Jean Teiller, Menetou-Salon Blanc

Sancerre is suffering from a classic supply and demand problem: You can’t make any more wine than what already exists within the tightly controlled (by French law) boundaries, but across the wine drinking world it has never been more popular. The result is prices are going up, and up. We have a solution though: Drive just a couple miles southwest of Sancerre and you enter the commune and appellation of Menetou-Salon. The climate is identical, the soils basically are too, and Sauvignon Blanc also reigns supreme. Here you’ll find Domaine Jean Teiller, a top estate that is producing highly mineral, terroir true wine from biodynamically farmed vineyards. This is a dead ringer for the most sought after Sancerre, at a pre-inflationary price. It’s also a pitch-perfect summer sipper . . . grab a bunch!

Sancerre is both an ancient wine producing region and globally recognized white wine brand. There’s no doubt that the success of this small commune in the eastern Loire Valley owes much to the quality of the wine that is made here, but why is it so much more popular than it’s equally excellent neighbors in Pouilly-Fumé, Reuilly, Quincy, and our focus today, Menetou-Salon? A lot of that is likely just historical happenstance, but certainly “Sancerre” rolls off the tongue and sounds something like Sauvignon Blanc–the grape from which it is made. Whatever the reason, the result is that while prices are rising meteorically for this one village, they are relatively stable in the others. That may be unfortunate for the farmers and winemakers who don’t own land in the Sancerre AOC, but it’s a boon for savvy wine lovers looking for top notch Sauvignon Blanc values. 

If the Teiller family has a chip on their shoulder as vigneron in Menetou-Salon instead of Sancerre, they certainly don’t show it! Instead they have been steadfastly producing acclaimed wines of the highest quality for four generations. Jean Teiller’s father-in-law established the estate in 1950, but it was Jean whose efforts really put this address on the map. He constantly strove to achieve the type of recognition that he believed the terroir of Menetou deserved, and his success resulted in Teiller wines being served in top restaurants and cafés throughout France.

Today it is Jean’s granddaughter Patricia and her husband Olivier at the helm. Farming in accordance with nature is paramount to their philosophy, and as such they are certified organic and biodynamic. The geology of Menetou is dominated by caillottes, or a mix of clay and limestone with lots of white, chalky pebbles strewn through the vineyards (yes, you find this in Sancerre too!). Their flagship Menetou-Salon Blanc is sourced from five parcels, which are all hand harvested for optimal ripeness. Winemaking is traditional and low intervention, with the grapes undergoing natural fermentations in steel tanks before aging for 12 months in the same steel tanks, plus a small amount of neutral oak barrels.

Serve this bracingly fresh, mineral driven Sauvignon Blanc in all-purpose stems at around 48-50 degrees. The straw gold color, with hints of pale green at the rim, leads to understated yet unmistakable Sauvignon Blanc aromatics: White peach, Meyer lemon, white flowers, raw almond, serrano pepper, and fresh cut herbs. It’s medium weight, with a nice, honeyed texture giving way to zippy, saline, oyster shell minerality. Spring and summer vegetables with soft cheeses or cured meats would make a perfect pairing, as wood oysters on the half shell. I would be delighted to have a bottle of this on ice and ready to go all through the warm months and right up to the holidays, and I’m sure you will be too!

2022 Domaine Jean Teiller, Menetou-Salon Blanc

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