Le Clos de la Meslerie
If there is one aspect of the Loire wine scene that I have lamented more than any other it surely has to be the absence of choice at the quality end of the spectrum within Vouvray. Yes, there are some world class domaines here, and I am sure from a list of top names featuring the likes of Domaine Huet, Philippe Foreau, Champalou, Domaine des Aubuisières, François Pinon and Vincent Carême we could all choose our favourites. But, other than the wines of the Montlouis mercenaries François Chidaine and Jacky Blot, who both also have a foothold amongst the vineyards of Vouvray, where do we go from here? In such a huge appellation, the size of which nears 2000 hectares, this seems like a very meagre helping, especially when we consider that many estates are not large.
Happily, over the past few years, the appellation seems to be experiencing something of a renaissance, and there are now several domaines which, while less famous than those already mentioned, are certainly of interest. Nevertheless, they need to be sought out and discovered; many are perhaps even smaller than those domaines listed above, they tend to lie off the beaten track in Noizay, Chançay or Vernou-Sur-Brenne, in the case of the latter not far from Vincent Carême who is mentor (officially or otherwise) to many of these young vignerons. One domaine that fits this description is on the edge of the plateau above the valley of the Brenne; here resides Peter Hahn (pictured above, with Juliette Gidon, the ‘woman behind the man’), purchaser and proprietor of a newly revitalised domaine in this sacred Loire appellation. One of several new lights in Vouvray, the name of the domaine is Le Clos de la Meslerie.