Domaine des Sablonnettes

Christine and Joel Menard have been making wine in the heart of the Coteaux du Layon AOC for more than thirty years. They produce an outstanding array of wines from Cabernet Franc, Grolleau, Gamay and Chenin Blanc. They practice biodynamic methods in their 13-hectares of vines. Christine and Joel run their domain to very exacting standards and as a result they produce stunning, natural wines—without employing artificial yeasts. The wines from Sablonnettes are not chaptalized or filtered, these wines are vibrantly alive.

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Certification: Organic/ Biodynamic (Qualite France).


P’tit Blanc — Back to the top

P’tit Blanc tech sheet

Age of Vines: 10-15 years

Yields: 40 hl/ha, 4,000 bottles

Pruning Method: Cordon

Soil: Schist

Varieties: Chenin Blanc

Vinification: Grapes are harvested by hand and fermented in stainless steal tanks.

Tasting Note: Fresh nose with notes of white flowers, almonds, and subtle pear, and a finish with hints of honey.

Pairing: Good with cold appetizers, vegetables, patés, young goat cheese, shellfish, sushi, or a chicken dish.


Les Copains d’Abord VdT (in Anjou area) : — Back to the top

Les Copains d’Abord tech sheet

Age of Vines: 10 to 50 years

Yields: 30 hl/ha 5,000 bottles

Pruning Method: Guyot de Loire & Gobelet

Soil: Schist

Varieties: 100% Grolleau (An ancient variety indigenous to the Loire)

Vinification Method: Grapes are harvested by hand and destemmed before an incredibly short maceration, which lasts for two weeks. The wine rests in tank for six months before it is bottled without sulfites or filtration.

Tasting Note: A cloudy ruby in the glass with layers of cherry pit and plum. The palate has loads of dark red fruit flavors boosted by scintillating minerality and silken folds of acidity. This is a complex and vibrant red, that once tasted will never be forgotten!

Pairing: Grilled chicken, braised rabbit, braised pork loin, hearty vegetarian dishes, savory casseroles, and creamy cheeses.


Les Copines Aussi: — Back to the top

Les Copines Aussi tech sheet

Age of Vines: 10 to 50 years

Yields: 40 hl/ha 4,000 bottles

Pruning Method: Cordon

Soil: Schist

Varieties: 100% Gamay

Vinification Method: Grapes are harvested by hand and destemmed before maceration, which lasts for five days. The wine rests in tank for six months before it is bottled without sulfites or filtration.

Tasting Note: Garnet and cloudy in the glass with pretty scents of black cherry pit, apple core and limestone. This is a buoyant and delightfully fruity expression of Loire Valley Gamay with zesty minerality and vibrant acidity.

Pairing: Grilled chicken, braised rabbit, braised pork loin, hearty vegetarian dishes, savory casseroles, and creamy cheeses.


Le Bon Petit Diable — Back to the top

Le Bon Petit Diable tech sheet

Age of Vines: 20 years

Yields: 40 hl/ha 4,000 bottles

Pruning Method: Cordon

Soil: Schist

Varieties: Cabernet Franc

Vinification: Grapes are harvested by hand and destemmed before maceration, which lasts for five days. The wine rests in tank for six months before it is bottled with 2-3gr/hl sulfites.

Tasting Note: A lighter and brighter style Cabernet franc filled with raspberry and strawberry aromas, making it easy to drink. Round, fresh, with a balance between the nice ripeness of the grapes and a pretty acidity.

Pairing: Serve with grilled pork, beef, veal or creamy cheeses.


Fleur d’Erables — Back to the top

Pruning Method: Cordon

Soil: Schist

Varieties: Chenin Blanc

Vinification: Harvested at 15-16% potential alcohol, 70 grams residual sugar. These grapes  are harvested from several parcels in Rablay that are showing the beginning signs of Botrytis. Vinified in tank and bottled in the spring with a dose of 40mg/liter of sulfur to prevent refermenation in bottle.


Ceci n’est pas un Rosé— Back to the top

Pruning Method: Cordon

Soil: Schist

Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vinification: Grapes are hand harvested and a mixture of half free run juice and half direct press juice is fermented to create a dark colored rosé. The wine is unfiltered and has a small addition of sulfur at bottling.


Menard le Rouge— Back to the top

Pruning Method: Cordon

Soil: Schist

Varieties: Cabernet Franc, Grolleau, Gamay

Vinification: Grapes are hand harvested and layered by variety in whole bunches. First the gamay goes into the bottom of the tank, then one week later the grolleau, then one more week and the Cabernet Franc is added. The wine is unfiltered and has a small addition of sulfur at bottling.


Du Vin dans les Voiles— Back to the top

Pruning Method: Cordon

Soil: Schist

Varieties: Chenin Blanc

Vinification: Grapes are hand harvested and ferment to less than 2 grams per liter of residual sugar. The wine ages in barrel for 4 years, under a vail of yeast (voile) without being topped up, resulting in an oxidative style of wine. The wine is unfiltered and bottled with a small addition of sulfur.


Auguste— Back to the top

Pruning Method: Cordon

Soil: Schist

Varieties: Chenin Blanc

Vinification: Harvested at 17-18% potential alcohol, 120 grams residual sugar per liter. These grapes harvested from several parcels in Rablay with advanced botrytis in the vines. The wine is unfiltered and receives a dose of 40mg/liter of sulfur to prevent refermenation in bottle.