The Domaine Joseph Mellot Jean-Michel Estate
Located in the town of Preuilly, Domaine Joseph Mellot is one of the leaders in the Loire Valley. The Mellot dynasty was founded in Sancerre almost five centuries ago by Pierre-Etienne Mellot and, since then, the family has always been involved in winemaking. In fact, in 1698 Cesar Mellot was entrusted with the weighty task of advising King Louis XIV on his choice of wines. Throughout the years, each new generation has continued to enrich and perfect the family's winemaking skills. In 1984, Joseph's son, Alexandre, took over the estate with quality as his main objective and a focus on the artisanal winemaking process and philosophy transmitted from one owner to the other.
Jeam-Michel Sorbe took over the family estate in 1973 and for about 30 years devoted his energy and passion to develop the reputation if the Quincy and Reuilly appellations. His wines had a great success and Jean-Michel Sorbe became a well-known personality in the region.
The Sorbe and Mellot families met through a mutual friend and began working together in 1988. In 1999, since his children had chosen to follow other paths, Jean-Michel decided to hand his estate over to Alexandre Mellot.
The Domaine Joseph Mellot Jean-Michel Vineyards
They farm 11 hectares (27 acres) in Reuilly (10 hectares in the commune of Preuilly, 1 hectare in Reuilly), and 3 hectares (7.4 acres) in Quincy.
- Preuilly: orange colored clay on ancient alluvial deposits (clay and silt). Deep, structured sols.
- Reuilly: grainy sand, Fairly light soils with a clay subsoil.
- Quincy: 2 parcels are planted on alluvial deposits (sand and gravel from the beginning of the quaternary period); 1 parcel has a higher clay content with the presence of lacustrine limestone on the surface.
The Quincy appellation (A.O.C. founded in 1936) measures 200 hectares (494 acres). It is the second oldest A.O.C. in France after Châteauneuf du Pape. The appellation almost disappeared as a wine after World War II, but today is staging a come back with new blood and new plantings. The vineyards lie around and between two towns, Quincy and Brinay. Quincy is a A.O.C. on the move and its A.O.C. status only applies to white wines, not red or rosé.
The vineyards of Reuilly (A.O.C. founded in 1939) measures 150 hectares (370.50 acres). The grapes grown are Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir. Reuilly was once known for a vin Gris de Pinot Noir, which today is 15% of the area’s production.
Diane de Galinière is another property owned by Joseph Mellot. Once again, they have decided to keep the yield low in order to obtain the best quality. Coteaux du Giennois A.O.C. was unknown a few years ago and is now an appellation to watch thanks to the care provided by Joseph Mellot. The Coteaux du Giennois vineyards measure 160 hectares (395.2 acres) composed of siliceous-clay soil in the northern part and Kimmeridgian marl in the south.
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Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
A lovely, brilliant crimson color. A very earthy Nuits nose with some vanilla bean, too. On the palate, smoky, velvet-textured fruit without any tannin, but acids take their place, so the wine is nicely balanced. Not heavy, but a very elegant Pinot expression at the end.
Exotic scents of violet, raspberry and wild cherry mark this juicy red. Vivid and fruity, yet backed by a baseline of firm tannins. Shows fine balance and a lingering aftertaste of red berries and mineral. Best from 2022 through 2038.
-Wine Spectator 93 Points