Sandwiched between the vineyards of Touraine upriver, and of Anjou downriver, are the vineyards of Saumur, including its rather more famous enclave of Saumur-Champigny, and the relatively recently inaugurated Saumur-Puy-Notre-Dame. Those in the know come to the domaines of Saumur and associated appellations for elegant reds, and the less-widely appreciated more minerally whites. In many cases, however, I suspect the appellation is overlooked in favour of Chinon or perhaps even Bourgueil for the former, and Vouvray and Montlouis, maybe even Muscadet and Sancerre for the latter. This is a shame, as there are some superb wines made here, the limestone conferring great elegance upon the red wines, and giving an unparalleled tension to the whites. I also suspect that there are many unexploited terroirs here, little vineyards with considerable promise that just need the right pair of hands in order to convert their unrealised potential into wines of great interest.
Domaine Mélaric is, I believe, a case in point. The story of the domaine only really begins in 2006, although it was a couple of years before the young couple behind it acquired the plot (or plots) of vines that matches the ‘unsung’ description above. Even so, the wines made here are already very convincing, and suggest that Domaine Mélaric is set to become a leading name in the Saumur and Saumur-Puy-Notre-Dame appellations.