Pierre Clément has raised the quality of his Menetou-Salon Blanc to new heights. He equipped his winery with the most up to date equipment to ensure gentle handling of the fruit and the full extraction of aromas and flavors. Once picked, the fruit descends to the winery by gravity flow and is selected on a sorting-table. Clément vinifies his Sauvignon Blanc grapes using one-third maceration pelliculaire (maceration with the skins), followed by a gentle pneumatic pressing. The juice rests in tank for 10 days at a very low temperature of 39.2F to stabilize and develop aromas and flavors. It is cleared (débourbage) and the temperature of the tanks is allowed to rise as the alcoholic fermentation begins slowly, using only native yeasts. The young wine is left on its fine lees in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks through the winter and is bottled after a light filtration in March. This is an amazingly vivid white, bursting with pure aromas of citrus, white peach and flowers. On the palate, it has a precise concentration with long-lasting flavors of red grapefruit, apricot, and minerals.
About the Producer
The Clément family has been wine-growers in Menetou-Salon since 1560 (16 generations). Now joined by their daughter Anne, Isabelle and Pierre Clément own 70 hectares of the finest, south-west exposed hillside vineyards in the appellation. Menetou-Salon is a quaint country village about 20 minutes southwest of Sancerre. Around 25 producers share the appellation. The production is 65% white wine from Sauvignon Blanc and 35% red from Pinot Noir (about 10% is rosé). While Menetou-Salon is on the same side of the Loire River as its more famous neighbor Sancerre, it has the same fossil-rich Kimmeridgian limestone-clay soils that are prevalent in Chablis. These Kimmeridgian soils impart the distinctly complex, aromatic and elegant personality to Clément's wines. Their total production is around 600,000 bottles per year.
Farming/vinification practices: starting Spring 2020, the Clements have begun the transition to organic certification, expected in 2023. The only change, however, in their practice for now will be the use of copper and sulfur-based vine treatments when necessary. The Clements have worked their soils mechanically for many years. Grass is left to grow between the rows to protect against rot (it absorbs moisture). Only indigenous yeasts are used. All the tanks are temperature-controlled through a central computer that can be accessed remotely. The wines are vegan.
Isabelle et Pierre Clément