The Loire Valley is France’s most diverse wine region. While maybe not as prestigious as Bordeaux or singularly (dually?) focused as Burgundy, the wines of the Loire Valley are fascinatingly versatile and nuanced. Especially the bone dry examples of Sauvignon Blanc produced in the Sancerre region of the Loire Valley. In fact, it’s often said that all of the world’s Sauvignon Blanc aspires to standards set in the central Loire Valley.
Of course I’m familiar with Sancerre. But the Loire Valley is large enough and diverse enough to contain gems that aren’t always top of mind and don’t always find their way to the top shelf of your local wine shop. One example is the Menetou-Salon region of the Loire Valley, whose wines are lesser known but equally expressive. This tiny appellation produces wines that are very similar in style to the best of Sancerre, though often with their own unique floral notes and usually at a friendlier price.
Like Sancerre, these wines are un-oaked, crisp, dry and elegant. Though located away from the river, Menetou-Salon still benefits from the same Kimmeridgian based soil. The wines in this often-overlooked appellation of the Loire Valley are predominately white, with some reds and a soupçon of rosé. The Sauvignon Blanc is a great compliment to most salads and vegetable dishes (even the notoriously difficult asparagus).
Greg’s Baby Zucchini Salad with its lemony dressing seems like the perfect opportunity for me to acquaint myself further with the wines Menetou-Salon. I chose the 2013 Henry Pellé “Morogues” Menetou-Salon for its subtlety and strength. Young, fresh and tangy, the wine serves up an additional lemon spritz to the dish. The wine’s flinty backbone has the ability to stand up to Greg’s pushy pesto-based basil dressing. Raw zucchini is somewhat chalky in texture, mimicking the million year old chalky Kimmeridgian soil that nourished Henry Pellé’s expression of Sauvignon Blanc.
Pairs With Farmers Market Baby Zucchini Salad
Also pairs well with vegetables, fresh pungent herbs such as basil, thyme and rosemary and most seafood.
- Category White Wine
- Varietal Sauvignon Blanc
- Region Loire Valley France