We left our afternoon visit with Philippe Gilbert marveling at how far he has come as a vigneron. In the late 1990s, Philippe left a promising career as a dramaturge to take over his father’s estate when he was on the brink of retirement. Philippe gradually converted to biodynamic viticulture (certified in 2013), eschewed the use of commercial yeasts, and has been refining his touch in the cellar ever since. It’s clear from the past few visits that he has fully hit his stride… While the market often treats Menetou-Salon like a “Sancerre substitute,” Philippe actually produces twice as much red wine as white, and his deft touch with Pinot Noir is fully evident in his rosé. This 2016 bristles with energy, showing the sort of wide-eyed intensity that severely reduced yields can sometimes bring. It is weighty but vigorous in its acid profile, offering notes of dusty strawberry, crunchy melon, and yellow plum, with a driving, mineral-drenched finish. A brutally small harvest yielded less than a quarter of the quantity Philippe typically produces, but the 2016 will undoubtedly dazzle and delight those lucky few who are able to get their hands on some.