Dom De Champarlan Menetou Salon Blanc 20

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Nestled in the picturesque Loire Valley, the Menetou-Salon AOC is a hidden gem for Sauvignon Blanc lovers. This charming region, often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Sancerre, has remarkably similar unique terroir and winemaking traditions. That adds up to exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, often rivaling the wines of its more expensive neighbors.

Regular AWM customers and readers of my weekly newsletter know that my primary mission is to source exceptional wines from small independent producers. I'm especially excited about those wines when they're a bit off the radar while providing the best quality and value, and the Menetou Salon AOC is precisely that! We introduced Western North Carolina to the terrific Sauvignon Blanc-based wines from Menetou-Salon AOC 15 or 20 years ago, and they have been staff and customer favorites ever since.

Located directly southwest of Sancerre, Menetou-Salon remains one of the best-kept secrets in Sauvignon Blanc. Only 310 hectares (760 acres) of Sauvignon Blanc are planted in the entire appellation, and the Girard brothers have 5 of those hectares.

You'll find Domaine Champarlan in the commune of Humbligny, a quaint village within the Cher Department of the Loire Valley. The vineyard and winery are managed by the young winemaking duo of David Girard and his brother Luc. They describe the estate as in a "perpetual developmental phase," which includes new plantings, construction, and equipment additions at the winery and cellar.

In the glass, you're greeted by flinty notes of lemon and citrus on the nose, leading to a beautifully concentrated palate of lemony richness with notes of herbs and gooseberry. The lush palate is perfectly framed by the precise minerality that the region is famous for. The finish of lemon and river rock goes on and on!

If you're a fan of Sancerre, take advantage of this gem. Seriously, the wines of Menetou-Salon are every bit as tasty as those of its more famous and pricey neighbors, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. This wine especially has all the succulent fruit, beautiful mineral underpinning, and lovely herbal character of Sauvignon Blanc at its finest.

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