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Henry Pelle, Loire, France

Henry Pelle
Menetou-Salon, Loire Valley

Situated right in the heart of France, in the extreme east of the Loire Valley, a stone’s throw from Bourges, near Sancerre, lies the charming little village of Morogues with its fields, meadows and slopes clustered around its very beautiful church. Pelle’s vineyards are located in the prime growing areas around the village of Morogues, thereby yielding wines of superior concentration, minerality and brisk acidity. Even though wine has been produced for years in Morogues, and even though the Pelles have been winegrowers for generations, it was only in 1959 (when the Menetou-Salon appellation was created) that the history of this very young appellation and that of the Pelle family became inter-twined. 

The vines grow in Kimmeridgean clay-limestone marl made up of myriads of minute fossilized oyster shells called locally terre blanche or white soil. The domaine practices organic viticulture highlighting the terroir with control yields, native yeast fermentation and aging on the lees. The reds see complete destemming, fermenting on the skins for 10 to 21 days, pumping over and punching down of the cap, Malo-lactic fermentation in the spring and both Vat and barrel aging. No chemicals or synthetic yeasts are used. Sulpher is utilized in extremely limited amounts. 

“Henri Pelle is Menetou-Salon’s finest producer.” Robert Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide, 6th ed. 

Since 1995, Anne Pelle, and enologist Julien Zernott have been responsible for the incredibly pure and wonderfully terroir driven wines being produced at Domaine Henry Pelle. 

The Wines 

Menetou-Salon Blanc, Les Bornes 

  • This is a blend of many sites in the vicinity of Morogues. 
  • Vines are both young and old, with many over 35 years. 
  • Les Bornes is the local term for the clay soil. 

Sancerre Blanc, La Croix au Garde 

  • Since 1982, the estate has been cultivating 5 hectares of Sancerre in the village of Montigny. 
  • The ‘Caillotes’ type of pebbly clay and limestone soil. 
  • The Pelle’s recently acquired 2 additional hectares of vines growing on Kimmeridgian marl from another winemaker. This acquisition allows Domaine Pelle to obtain a beautifully aromatic wine that mixes citrus and floral notes underpinned by beautiful minerality. 

Pouilly-Fume, Les Boucanes 

  • 100% pure Sauvignon Blanc 
  • 1.5 hectares 
  • 20 year old vines 
  •  planted 7500 plants/hectare on Kimmeridgean marl 
  • Harvested at peak maturity 
  • Gentle pneumatic pressing Stainless Steel temperature-controlled fermentation thenkept on fine lees for 5 months. 

Menetou – Salon Rouge, Les Cris 

  • 100% Pinot Noir 
  •  5 hectares 
  • 50-year-old selection massale vines 
  • Clay and limestone, both Kimmeridgean marl and Portlandian 
  • Native yeast fermentation for 2-3 weeks with punching down and pumping over then sixty percent of the wine is vinified in 400ltr barrels for 7 to 11 months. 
  • The wine is a classic, rich Pinot of great finesse and length. 

*Note, Domaine Henry Pelle produces several other wines also available upon inquiry.