New French from Loire

Met in May 2022 a delightful and youthful Loire Valley French Representative, Adrian, here in USA to sell Joseph Mellott wines, which I learned is a 500-year old winery. Despite the age of this winery, production is still small. They have around 300 acres in the South France area of Sancere in Loire Valley. Bottle2Glass is the importer bringing them into Ohio and I had the privilege to taste several wines.  I would do like to visit that area of the world! below are the photos of the wines tried.

Joseph Mellott wines


Adrian with me and Colonial Beverage owner Wes Cowie

Here’s a review of the wines I liked best that we can get in Ohio.

1). Let’s start with BOX wines. Typically box wines are perceived as being inferior “cheap” wines; however, now producers are using the box GOOD wines for several very good reasons. Using the box reduces glass and weight, and of course breakage. They are excellent at reducing exposure to oxidation, reducing spoilage and waste. Finally, they can be a great value because they can contain multiple bottles in a efficient delivery system. They’re excellent for backyard parties, pool areas, or boats where you don’t want glass. They also fit easier on all shelves in the refrigerator vs a traditional bottle.   So there are a lot of reasons wine makers are trying out boxes with good wines.

Joseph Mellot produces two Box Wines and both are excellent.

A). La petite Pressoir Rouge. There are seven bottles in this multiple liter box, bringing per bottle price to $7.70 after buying the $50 box. The wine is fruity, light, everybody would like it. I got flavors of jammy plum and elderberry and herbs. Easy drinking crowd pleaser.

B).  La petite Pressoir Sauvignon Blanc.  A citrus fruity and soft apple flavored wine. Has a slight granny smith apple tartness, but also a sweetness. Easy drinking for all white preferences. Stainless steel fermented. Four bottles in a box for $35.98 equals $9 a bottle.

2). I’ve become a big fan of Cabernet Franc lately. A Bordeaux specialist said that one of the reasons that it’s no longer just a blending product is global warming is allowing Cabernet Franc to get riper and have unique flavors instead of just pepper and spice.  That is certainly the case as they also deliver a big flavor at good value.

A). “Chinon‘ is a Cabernet Franc from the village of Chinon. Very nicely balanced acidity and good medium tannin. Little bit of expected mild pepper/spice flavors and nice ripe grapes. Stainless steel fermented and an incredible value for a big taste for 13.99 a bottle.  Easy drinking or would pair well with any meats.

B).  Samur-Champigny le Boisclar – same as above, Samur-Champigny is the village. Really liked this wine for the big flavors at a reasonable price of 18.99. A big wine with ripe flavors of plum, dusty chocolate, raspberry, and currant.  I bought some immediately!

3). Reilly Rose – I’ve liked this wine since the first time that I had it 2 years ago. In fact, my blog on the wine from 2 years ago is still active on this site! I think it has the taste of Summer.  Soft and delicate with a strawberry flavor. Crisp and fruity and yet easy drinking. Pair with a summer fruit salad, a summer soup, or light chicken.  Refreshing and easy drinking for 16.99.

4).  Sauvignon Blanc Pouilly-Fume called Le Tonsec.  At 24.99 this wine is their cuvee-signature. It is very flinty and has complex minerality with a smokiness. Nice flavors of minerality from soil containing flint and limestone (picture below because Adrian brought us the rocks from France!) and these flavors clearly bring across the uniqueness of the Loire terrior which is loved world-wide. I will buy this wine.

Flint stones which are in the soil

5).  La Grande Chatelaine is their best white, a sauvignon blanc that comes from their oldest 35 years old vines. This wine is aged for 12 months in new barrels using local oak wood, something I never heard before….sourcing wood from the same area as the grapes.  The oak is undetectable except that it adds amazing complexity. There’s a creaminess to the wine despite not having any malactic acid effects. Flavors of lemon, ripe apple, and light caramel candy hints. It opens up as drinking it, changing and delivering a long finish.  Finishes creamy with a lot of smoothness.  Even though it’s sauvignon blanc it’s similar to a light Chardonnay.  Beautiful wine. It retails for $41.99 and while that’s a little pricey this wine is worth it.  Again, I will be enjoying this wine in my home with a nice rosemary roasted chicken and asparagus with creamy sauces or another such flavorful sauce dish.

I have not reviewed all of the wines here but just enough to get your whistle so you’ll be interested in trying out some of these French wines. Reach back to me and I’ll tell you what retailers have these in stock.

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