Chenin Blanc is much the preserve of South African winemakers these days, but its origins lie in the Loire Valley. Savennières and Coteaux de Layon are perhaps the most famous Loire Chenins, but not always entirely ‘price accessible’. Vouvray provides an elegant and very affordable solution.
Made from Chenin Blanc grapes grown in the estates own vineyards around the village of Vouvray, to the east of the city of Tours; blended under the guidance of Angela Muir MW.
The Vieux Vauvert is medium-dry (which is to say, there’s a fair bit of sweetness) with a lively fresh finish. This wine has a plethora of flavours to share: among them, ripe apple, quince, lime and citrus blossom.
100% Chenin Blanc.
Complex and expressive aromas and flavours with a savoury minerality and a touch of oak.
Residual sugar = 40g/litre (estimate).
ABV = 11.5%.
Deeply rooted in the heart of Sancerre, the history of Joseph Mellot spans 500 years and several generations of the Mellot family. Founded by Pierre-Etienne Mellot in 1513 the family-run estate is today one of Sancerre's largest and undoubtedly most prestigious.
Current owner Catherine Corbeau-Mellot and her team strongly believe in the notion of terroir. Holding close to 100 hectares of land spanning all the appellations of the Central Vineyards, they are committed to bringing out the extraordinary potential and individual nuances of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from the different appellations. Joseph Mellot is the only winery that owns vines and produces wines from the seven main appellations of the Central Loire region (Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Quincy, Reuilly, Menetou-Salon, Coteaux du Giennois and Châteaumeillant).
See here for an excellent (albeit 10-minute-long) video on (Domaine) Joseph Mellot (French, English subtitles).
Wine production is carried out according to the terroir, so as to respect the specific character of each vintage. The wines are produced at one of three sites, one in Sancerre, one in Maltaverne in Pouilly-Fumé and one in Quincy, giving them a firm control over the wines they make. For white wines, the pressing is slow, and is carried out in pneumatic presses in order to extract the purest juice. For certain plots of land and depending on the years, pressing may be preceded by pre-fermentation maceration.
Located between Burgundy and the Berry region, the vineyards of Pouilly-Fumé cover a surface a surface area of 1,317 hectares while those of Pouilly-Sur-Loire total 31 hectares. Pouilly-Fumés are marked by fruity and floral flavours backed up with great freshness and length.
From Pouilly-Fumé, Joseph Mellot produces a négociant, domaine, single vineyard and prestige cuvée wine. The Domaine des Mariniers, as one might expect, is the domaine wine.
See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the team at Joseph Mellot.
Pale golden colour with green hues. Pale yellow colour with golden highlights. Its fine nose combines unusually tropical notes for a Pouilly-F, including notes of mango and lychee. The attack on the palate is fresh: plenty of citrus fruit, especially orange. Lovely finish, with with a great length.
ABV = 13.0%.
Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their November 2019 edition article, Celebrating Sauvignon, picking out a Top Twelve of Sauvignon(s) Blancs.
If wine is in the blood, it seems you just can’t fight it. Lionel Gosseaume resisted until the age of 37, before giving in to the inevitable and taking on this small estate on the Touraine/Sologne border, between the Loire and its tributary, the Cher. Named after Lionel’s father, Domaine de Pierre vineyards date back to the late 19th century, the wines they produce having risen far above and beyond the Touraine norm.
This is a wine that has been fermented in stainless steel tanks as this helps preserve this wine's fresh character. No oak has been used.
This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc.
Beautifully fresh wine with floral and mint aromas, a hint of green peeper and a herbaceous note. It is a fresh and lively wine with zesty acidity. There are flavours of cherry tomatoes still on the vine alongside citrus and some minty characteristics. It is certainly more complex than you would often expect for a wine from Touraine at such a reasonable price. This wine has a Sauvignon character with just a touch of herbaceous exuberance. There is also some minerality with crushed-stones, which mingle seamlessly with the wine's medium body and fresh acidity.
This floral wine is bright, crisp and zesty. It has the herbal character that is the mark of Touraine Sauvignon—ripe while also intensely green and tight.
An intriguing Sauvignon Blanc, with an attractive mouth-feel thanks to the lees aging. Rich in texture and complexity, this wine also has a purity of fruit, pronounced minerality and concentration.
ABV = 12.5%.