Domaine Philippe Gilbert, 2014 Update

There are few famous names working in the vineyards of Menetou-Salon. If asked to draw up a list, I imagine most wine drinkers would struggle to even get started. Those with a little knowledge, who have either explored the region (perhaps having visited it), or who have discovered its wines in the search for a good-value alternative to Sancerre, would probably come up with two names, Henry Pellé (surely the best known) and Bertrand Minchin, of La Tour Saint-Martin.

Philippe Gilbert

There is, however, a third name worth knowing about. Well, to be honest, there are a handful of names worthy of our attention, but I can only write about one domaine at a time, so we will just stick with name number three for the moment. And, even though the family in question can trace their vineyard-ownership in the region back as far as the mid-18th century, it is a domaine that has only recently – in the last five years I would say – come onto my radar. The reason for this, I am sure, is the arrival of a dynamic new generation (isn’t that so often the case?) in the shape of Philippe Gilbert. Philippe (pictured above, during the 2013 harvest) took over the running of the family domaine in 1998, converting it to biodynamics in 2006. This was just one part of a top-to-toe revitalisation of the domaine, and his hard work has undoubtedly resulted in better quality, an increased profile, and – I expect – better sales.

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