Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wine of the Week: Merias Montlouis-Sur-Loire "Les Maisonnettes"

Just south of Vouvray, across the Loire river is Montlouis-sur-Loire. This picturesque town is known largely for it's rolling hills; where caves are used as both cellars and homes carved into the mountainside. It is here, that Chenin Blanc is king. Unlike Vouvray, Montlouis-sur-Loire tends to reflect more earthy and mineral notes of Chenin Blanc. Wines from this region are also know for their extreme ageability! This is largely due to Chenin Blanc's naturally high acidity. Benoît Mérias' "Les Maisonnettes" is made from 40-60 year old vines. The grapes are soft pressed, then the must ferments with indigneous yeasts in concrete barrel. The wine is aged for 11 months on its lees in neutral oak barrels. The resutling wine incredulby terroir driven. It is fruity, dry, and retains its fresh minterality and acidity. This Chenin Blanc would go perfectly with grilled fish, roasted chicken, or herbed goat cheese. 

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 int on clay bedrock soils, Benoît’s wines are always bright and mineral. 


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