2011 Domaine Olivier Foucher - Menetou Salon
Last year I wrote about my discovery of Domaine Olivier Foucher's Menetou-Salon. It was an instant hit with Corkscrew customers, and the 2010 graced the table for many meals and parties around town. Well, good news: the 2011 has just arrived! On my trip to the Loire with my good friend and fellow Princetonian Peter Ham, we tasted the new vintage from the tank and were blown away by the freshness and minerality--perhaps finer than the 2010 (if that's even possible). Olivier is a true master, creating a wine that is complex yet quaffable! I'll say it again, Domaine Olivier Foucher Menetou-Salon may be the best value Loire Valley wine in the shop to date.
The white wines of Sancerre are heavily favored in the region for their fantastic minerality and wonderful fresh fruit qualities. Fortunately, Menetou-Salon provides us with the same excellent quality but at a far more palatable price. The terroir in this region is laden with the limestone-rich, calcareous soils from millions of years ago, leftover from when the region was under sea; it is quite similar to the terroir of Chablis Grand Crus. There is no mistaking the purity of the impeccably-made terroir wines from this appellation located just west of Sancerre.
Sauvignon Blanc is beautifully represented here; this wine has a delicate floral scent, with a touch of lime zest and tangerine on the nose. A palate full of white-fleshed fruits, particularly peach and pear, blend with more exotic but softer notes of grapefruit and lychee. Wave after wave of mouth-puckering acidity and a mineral-packed finish will keep you coming back for more! Pair this white wine with seafood, oysters, scallops, smoked trout, shellfish, frog legs and goat cheese. Or try it with a local favorite, a gésier salade! (Translation: Duck Gizzard salad... Yum!)