Alphonse Mellot, 2009 Update
Driving back to our hotel from the second day of the Salon de Vins de Loire in early 2009, I and my companions, writers Jim Budd and Sarah Ahmed, and Tom King of London’s RSJ restaurant, which specialises in the wines of the Loire, were reflecting on our high points of the day. For me it was undoubtedly Alphonse Mellot’s red Sancerres; these were wines unlike any I had ever before tasted from this appellation. Rich, deeply coloured, but also fresh, incisive and characterful, true to both the variety in question but also the appellation, I found myself asking aloud “how can red Sancerre be this good?“
Frequent tasting and drinking brings experience and develops your descriptive and analytical abilities, but it can also have the sorry side effect of leaving one’s palate jaded. There comes a point when it seems as though you have seen – or rather tasted – it all before. It is a rare cause for delight when a bottle reminds you of those enthralling moments that came so much more frequently when you were discovering wine for the first time. Make no mistake, the reds from Alphonse Mellot had this effect; these are wines the taste of which I will never forget.
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