2015 Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Chatellenie, Loire
Score : 92/100
The single vineyard La Chatellenie is a 22-hectare plot (54 acres).
The soil here is composed of geological formations dating back to the Cretaceous Period (90 million years BC).
The flint-rich clayey-siliceous soils give the Sauvignon Blanc grape its mineral characteristic taste of gunflint.
The vines are cultivated according to the principles of sustainable agriculture.
So how good is this Joseph Mellot Sancerre single vineyard La Chatellenie ?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
This wine comes in a bright yellow color, of medium intensity, with slight gold hues affirming the strong personality of its appearance.
Stick your nose in the wine glass, and you only need a quarter of a second to be struck by both the aromatic fruit intensity and the sheer charming character. It seems so obvious to your brain that the scents of this wine are those of something delicious that your senses connect immediately to pleasing gastronomic experiences.
It smells like rich sweet lemon (lemon marmalade I guess) mixed with subtle sweet and lifted spices: a touch of star anise, and white pepper.
That impression of sweetness on the nose is amplified by further sweet-like fruit smells like ripe apricot and confit pineapple. Freshness is provided by fresh green pear scents.
As I said, there’s only absolutely positive and so charming aromas to be smelt in there. I’m tempted to say: “this is just stunning”!
Now on to the palate…
An oily texture immediately coats the mouth with a delicious silky feel, followed by a refreshing zingy and mineral acidity. Then a little delicate sweetness strikes. The whole feels perfectly balanced and smooth.
Flavorwise, we’re still in that fresh-orchard-smells profile, amplified by the touch of sweetness to the finish.
The herbal character of Sauvignon Blanc is here more present, providing further depth of flavors, and more importantly a definite length. It’s accompanied by mineral slightly flinty tones, contributing strongly to the finish.
A delightful white wine literally stuffed with a great concentration of sweet fruit flavors not commonly found in Sauvignon Blanc at this level of charm.
The herbal characters we expect from a good Sauvignon Blanc are there too providing the typicity but more importantly the depth, length, minerality, and complexity that make of this Sancerre a characterful and great wine.
Its balance is also a model of the style.
When to drink?
Given the faultless balance, the concentration of aromas, and the good acidity, this will most-certainly age very well for many years (3 to 10, more if you like and rewarding adventure) towards further and further depth, truffle, and nutty tones but keeping its composure.
But very enjoyable to drink now for enjoying its upfront fruity characteristics…