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Melaric, Billes de Roche Rouge, 2017

$29.99

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100% Cabernet Franc that expresses the pure side of a grape that can sometimes skew funky and vegetal. From soils of clay and limestone (the region's typical crumbly, chalky tuffeau), this has notes of confit cherry, counterbalanced by brisk minerality. 

Melaric, established only about a decade ago, is a fairly new name  in the Loire. Winemakers Aymeric Hillaire and Melanie Cunin spent many years prior learning the ropes at such venerated addresses as Chateau Pradeaux and Bernard Baudry. It's not surprising, then, that they farm organically, pursue lower yields, and use large, neutral wood.

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A recent introduction to the wines of Saumur producer Melaric left me gobsmacked. How was I only now finding out about them? The depth, complexity, and terroir signature of every wine was so profound as to be almost unbelievable for such reasonable prices. For a Loire lover like me, it's a very happy discovery.

Much of their "terroir signature" owes to the Saumur-Puy-Notre-Dame, a rocky hill of limestone, clay, and silex, whose soil imbues the wines with a more mineral, chiseled personality than typical of Saumur or Saumur-Champigny. This is an AOC to keep tabs on.

Melaric, established only about a decade ago, is a fairly new name in the Loire. Winemakers Aymeric Hillaire and Melanie Cunin spent many years prior learning the ropes at such venerated addresses as Chateau Pradeaux and Bernard Baudry. It's not surprising, then, that they farm organically, pursue lower yields, and use large, neutral wood.

Like the domaine, the appellation of Saumur-Puy-Notre-Dame itself is a fairly recent (2009) creation. I suspect the lack of track record for both is why prices are so reasonable.

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Cabernet Franc

  • Vintage

    2017

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Organic

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Medium Bodied