Emmanuelle Mellot

Emmanuelle Mellot
Emmanuelle Mellot vineyard

The Story

The Mellot family name is one of the French wine community’s most long lived and celebrated. Their history goes back more than five hundred years (to 1513) in the Central Loire Valley where they make their home in Sancerre and bottle wines under the name Domaine Alphonse Mellot.

The new project of Emmanuelle Mellot, the daughter of the famous Alphonse, has branched out of the family business and back into the negociant wine world, a familiar métier of her father’s in the 1970s before he began to focus solely on growing his own grapes for his estate bottled wines. Negociant wine projects are usually less interesting (at least to us), not only because they are often uninspired wines made for cash flow and profitability, but because they usually lack what we find makes for the most compelling sort of wine: those that are made from bud break to bottle by the same hand and mind, year after year applying their experience with a specific plot to further master their craft; in other words, made by a vigneron. But, Emmanuelle’s project is more clever than most as are her noble intentions.

Emmanuelle set out to find winery partners who largely work with organic and/or biodynamic methods (as her family’s estate does) from different high quality satellite appellations near Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. The principal objective (aside from making fabulous wines) is to bring more notoriety to these lesser-known appellations and to unify them in approach in order to better expose the voice of each region and help to familiarize their names to a more broad audience. While the quantities are minuscule, the influence she has in the marketplace with her family name will positively ripple through the small, less well-known wine communities like Quincy, Reuilly and Menetou-Salon. She works closely with her partners on the cellar details to craft wines compatible with her preferred taste (elegant, pure, high tension; all perfectly in line with ours) and once her intention was understood and the wines were tasted (and the sources confidentially revealed to us) we were all in. -TV

Lay of the Land

Emmanuelle’s wines principally come from the Central Loire Valley, a large region with more similarities than differences. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are the principal grapes in the region and the continental climate of cold winters and warm summers doesn’t notably shift from one region to the next beyond certain microclimates. This is due to the lack of mountain influence, where here they are mostly small hills and flood plains from the Loire River and its tributaries.

Another significant similarity, but with a great degree of variability in the composition, is the soil and bedrock. They are most commonly composed of some kind of limestone and/or chert (referred to as silex in French, also as flint) bedrock with topsoil either derived through river deposition or the bedrock eroding in place. In Sancerre alone there are so many different types of limestone, whether it was derived from coral reefs, oyster-like fossils (Kimmeridgian marls, called terre blanche in Sancerre) or fossilized coccolithophores (chalk), and an extremely hard stone derived from a silaceous ooze (chert/flint/silex).

What feature is likely the most influential for the difference between the regions is their topography, which is a result of how they have eroded over thousands and millions of years. Some areas are extremely steep, like parts of Sancerre, and some relatively flat, like Pouilly-Fumé. Others are set next to small waterways, like Quincy, and have more river alluvium and sand. By contrast to Quincy, Pouilly-Fumé is a big mix of limestone, chert and river alluvium deposited thousands—if not millions—of years ago by massive flooding of the Loire River. There are too many details to consider in the makeup of a wine, but we feel that Emmanuelle’s doing a fine job illustrating some of the differences. -TV

Emmanuelle Mellot Dans Ma Bulle

Emmanuelle Mellot - 2016 Vouvray Sparkling “Dans ma bulle”

Price: $33.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

24+ in stock

Type of Wine: Sparkling
Grape(s): Chenin Blanc
Style: High acid, Mineral, Medium Body

INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

Terroir: This wine is the odd one from Emmanuelle’s collection given that it comes from Vouvray, which is located in the Touraine area of the Loire Valley, made of Chenin Blanc and has bubbles—an important thing to note! Emmanuelle is crazy about sparkling wine and was compelled to go out of her neighborhood to a more suitable area for the kind of sparkling wine she loves. It’s made by one of Emmanuelle’s talented winery partners who works completely with organic methods and is certified organic. The grapes are grown on tuffeau limestone bedrock and limestone and chert (silex) rich clay topsoil.

Vinification: Dans ma bulle, which means “in my bubble,” is a pétillante-naturel (or Pet-nat), which is to say it’s made by using the “methode ancestrale” and brings very fine bubbles by contrast to the more typically aggressive bubbles in young wines made by the methode champenoise. Petillante-natural is made by putting into bottle a partially fermented wine just before the completion of its alcoholic fermentation (with natural yeasts in this case, and about 18-20g/l of sugar left at bottling). The bubbles are a completely natural byproduct of the fermentation of the grape’s natural sugars. There are no sulfites added to this wine.

Aging: Aged in bottle

(Subjective and based on young wines)

Mineral Impressions:

Lightly SaltySaltyMetalMineralWet StoneFlintGraphiteReductivePetrol

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

The Vineyard

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

13

pH:

N/A

Titratable Acidity:

N/A

Residual Sugar:

18-20

Notes compiled in 2019 by Ted Vance (The Source) and Emmanuelle Mellot