Jean-Paul Godinat (vigneron/negociant), Les Chais du Val de Loire, Les Tarnes, AOP Menetou-Salon, Loire, France 2015
Menetou Salon, lying about 20 miles south-west of Sancerre and 10 miles north-east of Bourges, can offer decent, and better, sauvignon quality without the premium prices of Sancerre and Pouilly. The typical notes of Loire sauvignon blanc include lemon, grapefruit, (ripe) gooseberry, blackcurrant bud and leaf, fresh cut grass and crushed nettles – people also talk of struck flint or gun flint, but I think this is simply a sulphurous note from typical reductive winemaking practices.
This wine: varietal sauvignon blanc, 2+1 technical cork closure, 12.5% abv, en France ~€10 (10/16).
Consumer tasting note: well made, with a typical cool/cold climate profile on the nose of green pepper, citrus and grass, plus ripe pear; medium bodied, decent intensity on the palate with more citrus and cut green vegetation, with a suggestion of gorse flower (delicate coconut-like). A modest length with a lightly grippy finish. Decant for 20 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity lemon, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, youthful, with aromas as they come, of ripe green pepper, fresh cut sweet grass, touch of green apple, a richer warmer hint of stone fruit – apricot skin, hints of sweat and flowering currant leaf, very ripe grapefruit, lemon boiled sweets, ripe pear.
Palate: dry, medium acidity, medium alcohol, medium body, a low-key grip with a silky texture, medium intensity, with flavours of lemon boiled sweets, grapefruit, hints of green pepper, slightly grassy – like cut green vegetation, a touch of gorse flower (delicate coconut-like), hints of conference pear. A medium length, clean with a citrus-cut green vegetation finish with a low-key grip and a slight bitterness on the end.
Quality: good, a balance of modest acidity with alcohol, appropriate to the flavour intensity; showing some complexity – lots of hints which could develop with further airing or perhaps on a second day, with modest concentration and a similar length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to ageing, but will keep for a year or two.