Domaine des Sablonnettes
Christine and Joel Menard have been making wine in the heart of the Coteaux du Layon AOC for more than twenty years. Over the past few vintages they have welcomed their son Jeremy into the domaine to take care of the winemaking and the cellar. While the appellation is known for its sweet wines, Domaine des Sablonnettes have slowly cemented themselves over the years as a key producer of some of the most expressive and interesting dry wines in the AOC today. They are seen by many as the secret superstars of the region. They lovingly tend to their 13 hectares of vines, which have been managed and certified by biodynamic methods since 2007. Healthy soils and balance in their ecosystem has always been at the heart of their winemaking, and with this in mind they produce an outstanding array of wines from Chenin Blanc, Grolleau, Gamay and Cabernet Franc. Christine and Joel run their domain to very exacting standards and as a result they produce stunning, natural wines.
What makes them rare for the Coteaux du Layon AOC is they refuse to chaptalize their sweet wines and employ all natural yeast for fermentation. Their aim through all wines is to produce different cuvees that speak of terroir and vintage, even if their sweet wines are on the leaner side of the regions norm. All wines remain unfiltered and un-fined and in most cuvees zero sulphur additions are made. As a result their cuvees have become to be known as wild, eloquent wines that are both lively and energetic. The uniqueness and singularity they feel in each wine is transmitted to each label, teaming up with artist Denis Huneau to convey the originality of each wine.
After our recent visit we left truly gobsmacked by the level of detail, precision and care that goes into farming this beautiful property. With Jeremy now at the helm in the cellar the wines are looking better than ever and we have great faith in his ability to lead the domaine forward. The Sablonnettes wines transcend the framework of what is commonly seen in this traditional appellation and each cuvee offers immense value and intrigue.