2011 Alphonse Mellot "La Demoiselle" Sancerre

SKU #1163536 91-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From vines planted in 1951, and tasted from a small wooden upright fermentor such as would continue to house this entire cuvee until assemblage and bottling, the Mellot 2011 Sancerre La Demoiselle is irresistibly perfumed with diverse if hard to identify flowers, allied to lime and grapefruit that then serve for a lush, luscious, and refreshingly citric palate, underlain unmistakably by chalk stone, and laced with saliva-liberating sweet-saline savor of shrimp- and lobster-shell reduction. Like many a Mellot Sancerre, this will have at least superficially (as well as attractively) Burgundian aspects to it: above all hints of creaminess and sheer amplitude, not to mention the in this instance thankfully subtle influence of oak. But there is lift and primary juiciness here such as one would seldom encounter in any Burgundian Chardonnay, and the flowers and citrus – as well as this wine’s mineral dimensions – could among white Burgundies only be found in the best Chablis. I suspect that this will be worth following for at least half a dozen years. (DS)  (6/2012)

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Price: $54.99
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Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- Of all of the French wine producing regions, the Loire might produces the greatest variety of wines. They range from still to sparkling, very dry and acidic to hearty sweet, and clear in color to a deep purple. The diversity of wine produced in this region is due in part to its dynamic climate, which ranges from Continental to Mediterranean. This region is best known for Sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc and Cabernet Franc. The most famous areas in the Loire Valley may be Sancerre and Vouvray.