Domaine Masson-Blondelet, 2015 Update

I was hugely impressed by the wines of Masson-Blondelet in the 2012 vintage, and so I didn’t require much – indeed any – persuasion when I recently had the opportunity to stop off to taste with Pierre-François Masson, and to update my knowledge of this domaine. The tasting first took in the most recently bottled vintage, 2013, followed by brut de cuve samples from the 2014 vintage, before finishing up with some older, oak-aged vintages. I have stuck with this order of play in my report here, and in my tasting notes below.

Tasting the Wines

Starting with 2013 then, this was not an easy vintage in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé; the harvest came after a period of warm and rather humid, rainy weather, with rot a problem in the vineyard. Having said that this rot was often noble rather than grey and, munching such grapes straight from the vine, the fruit always tasted fine. Nevertheless, nobody wants botrytis-influenced Pouilly-Fumé (well, I don’t, anyway) and therefore a fairly strict selection was the order of the day. On a few occasions I was able to taste the must, straight from the vats, and this also seemed fine and free of any rot taint. On the whole it was a job well done in a less kinder vintage than those which preceded and followed it, with some good wines eminently possible, but it is unlikely to yield any truly great wines.

Domaine Masson-Blondelet

Here I kicked off with the 2013 Les Angelots, a wine from Calcaire de Villiers, which Pierre-François (pictured above) poured first. Minerally and fresh with polished texture and vibrant fruit, to my palate this cuvée outshone the 2013 Villa Paulus, even though this latter wine originates from an allegedly superior Kimmeridgian terroir. But then I have found the confident structure of Les Angelots very enticing on previous tastes, not least in the 2012 vintage. The 2013 Pierres de Pierre, however, was a step back up again, and showed the bright, defined frame that the best flint cuvées so often possess. In terms of minerally confidence, however, all three were shown up by the 2013 D’Or et Diamant, a selection of the best fruit from across all possible terroirs. Mostly fermented in stainless steel, not even the inclusion of 5% barrel-fermented wine in the final blend could dampen the minerally power that lies hidden within this wine.

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