Domaine Mélaric, 2017 Update

The Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame was formally recognised by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) in 2006, which means it is already ten years since its inception. It is a large appellation, covering 17 communes scattered around the hilltop town of Le Puy-Notre-Dame and its slopes of limestone and flint, with about 1,500 hectares of vines. There is, you would think, plenty of raw material here, and the potential to build a reputation for quality like that of Saumur-Champigny.

And yet, so far this promise doesn’t seem to have materialised. Ten years on I have only really been able to familiarise myself with a handful of domaines, with peripheral knowledge of one or two others. To some extent this is my fault; covering the entirety of the Loire Valley means I spread myself pretty thin at times, and perhaps I need to focus on the region a little more. Equally, however, I haven’t seen any great push from the locals to promote this new appellation in the way that the Bourgueil vignerons have done since they withdrew from InterLoire and took on responsibility for all their own promotion.

Domaine Mélaric

One domaine that has popped up in the past few years, and which seems to get a little more interesting every year, is Domaine Mélaric. Based in Le Puy-Notre-Dame itself, proprietor Aymeric Hilaire (pictured above) is expanding and consolidating his relatively new domaine, and turning out a really interesting array of wines as he does so. Recently (well, quite a while ago now actually – apologies for the tardiness of publishing these notes) I met up with Aymeric to taste the latest and forthcoming releases.

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