In a nutshell: An intense and bright Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc that gives its neighbours in Sancerre a real run for their money.
The lowdown: The relatively little known appellation of Menetou-Salon sits a few kilometres west of Sancerre and shares similar limestone soils and cool climate conditions that means the wines from both appellations have a great deal in common. The big difference being that the cachet of Sancerre puts its prices on a higher level. Joseph Mellot are one of the bigger estates around these parts and make reliably dependable wines from their several vineyards in the region. Their Menetou-Salon is among their stand-outs and comes from a gently sloping vineyard near Bourges. It's bursting with intense tropical and citrus aromas and has a palate of citrus, peach, watermelon with fresh minerality and a nice weight and roundness to the body.
A wine that shows of all the best of Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc without the chunky price tag of its high-end counterparts.
When to drink: Vivid and vivacious this is an ideal match for grilled white meats, fish, and seafood or simply delightful to enjoy on its own.
Deeply rooted in the heart of Sancerre, the history of Joseph Mellot spans 500 years and several generations of the Mellot family. Founded by Pierre Etienne Mellot in 1513, the family-run estate is today one of Sancerr''s largest and undoubtedly most prestigious.
In 1984, the current generation, under the stewardship of Alexandre Mellot, took over the estate. Alexandre Mellot was one of the regional pioneers who believed in the huge potential of the Loire's Central Vineyard wines. He invested in the expansion of vineyards, modernisation of the winery and in developing exports. In 1987, he was joined by his wife, Catherine Corbeau-Mellot, who then looked after sales and marketing. Following Alexandre's tragic death in 2005 Catherine took the reins of the family business.
In Sancerre the name 'Joseph Mellot' extends beyond just the wine estate, and as a family they were arguably visionary in the development of wine tourism in the Loire. In 1882, the family founded the Auberge Mellot in Sancerre. Since its very beginning it has always been run by the women of the family and is today looked after by Alexandre's sister. Famous guests have included Claude Monet.