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.

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.

Emmanuelle Mellot Dans le miroir

Emmanuelle Mellot - 2017 Pouilly-Fumé “Dans le Miroir”

Price: $41.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

24+ in stock

Type of Wine: White
Grape(s): Sauvignon Blanc
Style: High acid, Mineral, Medium Body, Elegant and Aromatic

INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

Terroir: Charming and ethereal, this mineral bomb is grown by one of Emmanuelle’s winery partners who works closely with her brother, Alphonse Mellot (Jr). The grower employs Mellot’s complete direction in organic methods and treatments but does not carry organic certification. It’s a blend of different sites with a bedrock constitution of approximately 50% chert (flint/silex), 25% on Kimmeridgian limestone marl (a stone composed of lithified miniature oyster-like fossils mixed with clay, sand or silt) and 25% “plaquettes de Villiers” (a very soft limestone) and clay topsoil with a lot of stones. The plaquettes are very well drained limestone bedrock (not always a specific quality of all limestone), which encourages earlier maturation of the grapes when compared to the chert and limestone marl soils.

Vinification: Luckily for everyone, the grapes are vinified and aged in the Mellot family winery by Alphonse, a master technician of wine crafting. To avoid oxidation and reduce the level of added sulfites, the hand harvested grapes are pressed in an inert gas pneumatic press. The first sulfite addition is made in the grape must before primary fermentation. The yeast used for fermentation is cultured from the Mellot family’s grapes.

Aging: The aging takes place in 600-liter old French oak barrels (1/3) and stainless steel (2/3). The wine is aged for seven months and then blended and rested for two to three months before bottling.

(Subjective and based on young wines)

General Impressions:

Lifted, Aromatic, Mineral, Elegant, Textured, Soft White Fruit

Mineral Impressions:

Lightly SaltySaltyMetalMineralWet StoneFlintGraphiteReductivePetrol

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

Technical Precision:

NatureModerateNurture

Intensity:

SubtleVigorousElectric

Core:

LitheMediumDense

Acidity:

LightMediumFullElectric

Texture:

LitheMediumDense

Body:

LightMediumFull

Tannin:

NoneLightMediumFull

Finish:

FrontMiddleBack

Wood Presence:

NoneSubtleNoticeable

The Vineyard

Soil:

See “Terroir” section

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

Only organic methods and treatments are used

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

N/A

Altitude (meters):

N/A

Aspect:

N/A

Slope:

N/A
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfites and bentonite (a natural clay used for protein stability)

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

12.5-13.5

pH:

N/A

Titratable Acidity:

N/A

Residual Sugar:

Dry

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