The Montlouis-sur-Loire appellation is known for its original sparkling wine. The specifications are also quite sharp on its development.
Let’s start with what is prohibited, ie. zero de-stemming or crushing, even less enzymation, fermentation, chaptalization, liqueur deterioration and liqueur d’envoi. What is allowed? Drink as much as you want! Still, disgorging is mandatory, otherwise it would snow in your glass, regardless of the season. Finally, a minimum of nine months is required as mandatory residence on slats. It should be noted that organic makes up 50% of the appellation here.
Jacky Blot at Domaine de la Taille aux Loups
I have always loved the sparkling Montlouis. But it is Jacky Blot in particular that comes back to my mind. The decision to pay him a visit at his home was decisive, just to remember this “small” party celebrated in the cellar of Foucault’s near Saumur-Champigny, almost 25 years ago now.
A little bomb of finesse like its Triple Zero cuvée ($36.25 – 12025301). This one has been produced since 1993 and fully respects the rules of the appellation, but the man pushes the envelope further. The low yield of its old Chenin vines (more than 50 years old and organically pampered) already forms the basis by ensuring that only the juice of the cuvée is preserved (here at 80% without adding sizes). This is followed by fermentation in barrels for approximately three months to “clear” the juices without other forms of filtration, fermentation which reaches its peak with approximately fifteen grams of sugar on the clock. The latter will continue in the bottle until the sugar runs out for the following 36 months. Pure lace of foam, alluring textures, with pear brioche, bright and resonant like a laughing baby with all its teeth. (5) ★★★ 1/2
“We wanted to move away from near-natural sparkling wines,” points out Jacky, pouring me his Rosée Brut version made with old Gamays (from the Les Hauts de Husseau limestone soil) vinified in stainless steel vats for more verticality (without staying fine). load). Silky bubbles and charm to spare, supported by almost invisible tannins and with a refreshing, almost salt water relief. Pure invitation to tease a few sea urchins along the way. And what about this 2012 vintage with its nine years well-seasoned on slats? A rounded Triple Zero, still very much alive with its fine and delicately truffled bitterness. We already want to sit down to eat a chicken with morels!
Over the years, Jacky Blot has managed to embroider an astonishing patchwork of sites and plots where Chenin Blanc, but also Cabernet Franc at Domaine de la Butte (16 hectares started in 2002 in the Bourgueil appellation, including this magnificent mid-slope climate), are the subtle and nuanced mouthpiece for the magnificent terroirs dominated by, among other things, mica chalk, yellow tuff, clay with flint, pudding stone and other pebbles. At the Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, but also in Vouvray (Clos de Venise, La Bretonnière, here, in monopoly of a magnificent south-east slope), the man has been able to spot, feel and understand in order to better sing its parcel cuvées, that identifies the potentials and elevates each of their personalities.
This is the case with his “cold” plot, Hauts de Husseau, where the limestone spills out, a substantial and dynamic dry white reminiscent of a Meursault Perrières style, racy and long aging. Or this Clos Michet (five hectares) facing south on the hillside, with a tactile pleasure that is both round and striking, which, according to Jacky, is “the embodiment of sweetness without imagined sugars”. A plot that is already different from Clos Mony, surrounded by walls and located right next to it, where chenin subtly wins in luminous and mineral (flint) vibrations, playing here on discretion and mystery.
The 12 hectares of this monopoly are of course harvested according to the ripeness dictated by the many microclimates, subsoils and slopes (with a bottom of the slope calculated at 25% for blending the emblematic Rémus cuvée, the spearhead of the house) with, you guessed it , a first sorting at the end of each row of vines at harvest. According to the vintner, it is a matter of capturing the same overall frequency without disturbing any distortions that are detrimental to the readability of the package selection. is about. More precise than Jacky, and here you are at the controls of the James Webb telescope, harvesting the vineyards of the entire galaxy.
If you pass Tours, it is imperative that you make a gourmet stop at Les Belles Caves bistro, of which he is one of the partners. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no reason to wait 25 years to meet all your winemaking friends there.