Tag Archives: Alphonse Mellot

Personality plus (Sancerre, France – Day One)

Any skill for organisation I may have developed on this trip seems to have abandoned me on my break, and the journey from Touraine to the Central Loire Valley was the victim. The first thing I realised was that Orleans, the city I had decided to stay in during my time in Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire, was at least 90 minutes away. The problem was that I realised this the day I was set to check-in, and changing to a motel close to Pouilly cost me the first nights accommodation in Orleans. My second big error was that I had forgotten my initial plan, which was to stay in Tours an extra night and stop at a winery on the way to Sancerre, one which I had made an appointment with. The winery is located about 150 minutes away from Sancerre, and driving back for one appointment was not something I wanted to do. So due to my incompetence I then had to cancel this appointment, something I felt quite ashamed about and also disappointed. My mood picked up a lot and I managed to move on a little as I stopped at three chateaux in Touraine which were amazing. The castles in the Loire Valley are well known to be some of the most beautiful and grandiose in Europe, as most of them hark back to the Rennaisance period when the French monarchy was one of the most wealthy and influential.
The Sancerre Centre

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Alphonse Mellot – 26/11/2012

2012 Reds – excellent balance and structure, not heavy but certainly expressive, good acid balance with supple yet bold tannins. In certain wines very prominent blackberries, but also a little savoury.

2012 Whites – exceptional balance, some wines showing amazing complexity, exquisite minerality and harmonious fruit. Depth and completeness never before seen in wines made entirely from sauvignon blanc. Interesting once in the bottle after a few years. Excellent ripeness without being too much of anything. The best balance between minerality, fruit (not tropical) and herbaceous elements I’ve seen.

Penitent 2009 (Chardonnay)
Bright juicy and fruity aromas, lovely and ripe possibly due to the vintage, slightly candied and floral, a hint of fennel and artichoke. Broad light a little crisp with some nice complexity but not lasting too long on the palate. Pleasant, balanced and fruit-driven chardonnay, not a lot of oak to get in the way. A little texture to add a dimension.

Edmond 2000
Getting a slight urine aroma in a good way, quite complex, some grapefruit, apple, pear. Very beautiful complex bouquet, completely unique to sancerre. Expression but harmony, quite full flavour, still plenty of exuberant fruit starting to find it’s groove, great minerality fills the mouth and carries the wine through the palate, still quite young and plenty of life left in it. Balanced, complex, expressive and lively. Wonderful savoury elements. Wonderful ripeness in the wine, absolutely no harsh edges.

La Moussiere 2002
Wonderful pear aromas, some lovely quince and fig, concentrated fruit, not too ripe but expressive, not at all tropical, more orchard fruit and a little citrus. A bit sherbet. Quite light but wonderfully soft generous broad and mouth-filling. Graceful in its balance, less intense and complex than the previous wine, supple subtle and full. Nice extension on the palate, drinking well and will for another five years. Doesn’t taste of sauvignon at all.

Grand Champs 2007 Pinot Noir
Amazingly bright and intense fruit with an element of olives as well. Lovely and soft and rich but also intense and soft, but nicely tight in its structure with some wound-up tannins. A nice slightly stalky green side to it as well, still taking time to open up. A totally different expression of pinot noir, serious food wine.

Generation 2003 (19th generation Mellot, 5th generation Alphonse)
So many things going on in the aromas, fruit and earth, savoury and somehow meaty as well. Rich and yet hauntingly subtle on the nose. Rich full ripe and volumous, powerfully expressive but showing some richness and complexity of age, a little dense and broad, not the same concentration and briskness of acidity and minerality on the palate as other wines. Already losing something on the front of the palate.

Some of the Alphonse Mellot wines

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