Domaine Jean Teiller
The appellation of Menetou-Salon is a relatively small one; at a little over 550 hectares it has less than half the area claimed by the vignerons of Pouilly-Fumé, and is a mere fraction of the size of Sancerre. Historically its main selling-point has often been value. The two varieties found here match those in Sancerre, namely Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, planted on similar terroirs, so it has long provided wines of a familiar style but – without the prestige name of Sancerre on the label – at an inevitably lower price.
Nevertheless, despite this reputation as a ‘Sancerre alternative’ there is no doubt in my mind that Menetou-Salon deserves to be viewed independently, as a source of wines of quality, in many cases comparable (and often superior) to its more famous neighbours. Evidence for this comes from the likes of Paul-Henry Pellé at Domaine Pellé, Bertrand Minchin at La Tour Saint-Martin and Philippe Gilbert, vignerons turning out vibrant and ageworthy Sauvignons sourced from the region’s prized slopes of Kimmeridgian soils, resting on the same streak of limestone which runs beneath the Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé appellations.
Another domaine worthy of consideration in the same breath as these other names is Domaine Jean Teiller, home to a family of vignerons situated on the outskirts of the town of Menetou-Salon itself. Today its proprietor is Patricia Luneau (pictured above) and her husband Olivier (pictured on the next page), but to find the domaine’s origins we must follow Patricia’s family tree back a few generations.