Thursday, 21 February 2013

Menetou-Salon, Domaine du Manay 2011

I took a punt on some Menetou-Salon after getting a recommendation from a friend who described it as Sancerre without the blockbuster name. At £11 a bottle, it's certainly priced competitively and it can often be bought for slightly less if you purchase in bulk at various wine merchants. As with Sancerre, Menetou-Salon has very limestone rich soil and the similarities between the two regions is clear from the first taste. It was tasted alongside various other Sauvignon Blancs (including my perennial favourite, Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 - although it was Pioneer Block 11 at the time) and performed well.

Nose: Quite a restrained nose to begin with. There are light floral notes and an odd aroma that was described by one friend as 'fruity cauliflower'! A decent bit of zest and minerality give it some backbone, but this is certainly not a powerful wine - it is clearly designed for a touch of subtlety and for matching with food.

Palate: A very appealing minerality and rainy-day earthiness gives Domaine du Manay a classic and timeless edge. A touch of sweetness comes in at the back giving balance and ensuring the wine doesn't become too harsh or acidic. Whilst not hugely complex, this has been well done and is an enjoyable glass of wine.

Body: Medium-light.

Finish: A fairly short finish ties in with the comparative lack of complexity in the wine. It gets slightly sweeter and thinner. Not much to write home about, but nothing negative either.

Conclusion: A perfectly pleasant £11 / £9 bottle of wine that is not going to excite your tastebuds in the line of some of the others reviewed here but will certainly provide an excellent wine to partner with any manner of dishes. White fish, chicken, salads, dry cheeses and anything with a creamy sauce would go very well with it. I have tried it with risotto on several occasions and it was just about able to stand up to a wintery lentil and sausage stew.

Points: 85. Well worth a go at the price and a perfectly enjoyable wine to drink on its own, although clearly better for food matching.

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