The largest segment of Menetou-Salon wine is white, but the appellation also produces red and rosé wines.
Southwest of Sancerre, Menetou Salon sits in the Cher department and covers 627 hectares (1549 acres). The appellation extends into 10 villages: Menetou-Salon, Aubinges, Morogues, Parassy, Pigny, Quantilly, Saint-Céols, Soulangis, Vignoux-sous-les-Aix and Humbligny. The sedimentary limestone soil in this appellation dates to the upper Jurassic period.
Evidence of vineyards in Menetou-Salon is found in writings from 1063, 1097 and 1100, in which the Lord of Menetou gave properties to various religious orders. Most notably, he gave the vineyards located in Clos de Davet to the famous abbey of St-Sulpice-Les-Bourges.
The history of Menetou-Salon is closely linked with Jacques Coeur, Steward of the Royal Expenditures and Banker of the Court of King Charles VII. Writings from 1450 show that wines of Menetou-Salon graced the table of Jacques Coeur. It is also believed that the king’s favorite, Agnes Sorel, would visit Menetou-Salon, where she’d rest under the ancient lime wood trees near the castle drinking the wine of Close de la Dame. Some 400 years later, the wine tradition continued with the first producers’ syndicate established around 1890, followed by a wine production revival occurring in the 1970s.
The grapevines are planted on calcareous (Kimmeridgian) sediment dating from the Upper Jurassic. The striking hill (Cuesta) to the east (Morogues) becomes gentler towards the west, pointing to Menetou-Salon.
The Vendanges (grape harvest) in Centre-Loire begin between the last week of September and the first week of October, ending the last two weeks of October. Some grapes are still harvested by hand, particularly red grapes, though most are picked with mechanical grape harvesters. The grapes are sent to the modern wine storehouses for processing. In the Centre-Loire, three winemaking methods are employed.
Menetou-Salon whites are fresh and fruity, spicy. They offer a blend of citrus and floral aromas. Touches of pepper and menthol are revealed in a round, full mouthfeel. The reds are supple and flavourful. They are dominated by notes of ripe cherry and plum. The rosés are suggestive of white fruit and dried fruit.
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