Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wine of the Week: Benoît Mérias Montlouis-Sur-Loire "Les Quartes"

Benoît Mérias lies in Montlouis-sur-Loire, situated just across the Loire river from Vouvray. Similar to it's more well-known neighbor, the Chenin Blanc in Montlouis-sur-Loire is planted on the same tuffeau soils which are ideal for bright wines with balanced minerality and great acidity. Wines from this region can be either dry to sweet and have an earthier, more mineral quality compared to Vouvray. 

The Montlouis-Sur-Loire "Les Quartes" undergoes  a soft pressing of the grapes, then the must ferments with indigenous yeasts in a fiberglass barrel. The wine is then aged for 11 months on its lees in fiberglass barrels. The finished wine has a lively and fresh attack on the palate, giving way to notes of citrus and a discreet bitterness at the end. It can be served with shellfish, the traditional potato and crème fraîche dish gratin dauphinois, or for a more unusual pairing sweet and sour chicken.

After a career as a teacher in a small village in the Aveyron, Benoît Mérias decided to start over, reinventing himself as a winemaker. He started to work at the Cave Coopérative de Marsillac, then trained in Amboise. After his graduation from that program, Benoît earned his stripes at Domaine de la Taille aux Loups in Montlouis before taking over 6 ha of Chenin in Saint Martin le Beau in 2011. The different soils and terroirs give Benoît the change to create different cuvées; from sand to siliceous, siliceous to flint on clay bedrock soils, Benoît’s wines are always sharp and mineral.


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