Le Clos de la Meslerie, 2020 Update

Peter Hahn, of Le Clos de la Meslerie, is one of the more artisanally minded vignerons in Vouvray. Taking the crop from his 4 hectares of vines as one, he started out producing a single cuvée which reflected the character of the vintage, dry (or dry-ish) in more restrained vintages such as 2011 or 2017, lip-smackingly moelleux in more generous years, most notably 2015 and 2009. After fermentation the wines then rest in barrel, with the occasional bit of lees-stirring. His wines are permitted to slumber here for a year before being awoken once more, for blending and bottling.

While this may sound unremarkable, consider for a moment that we are in Vouvray; the norm here is a division of the crop into sec, demi-sec and moelleux, followed by a short élevage and an early bottling, usually in time for spring following the harvest. Not for Peter (pictured below) though, who has his own modus operandi, one which follows a more considered pace, bottling and releasing as he sees fit. For this reason this look at his latest vintages starts not with 2019 or 2018, but with the recently released 2017 vintage, before moving back to 2016 and 2015. The oldest of this vintage trio was all but sold out at the domaine at the time of tasting, so I would expect 2017 and 2016 to be the easier wines to track down.

Le Clos de la Meslerie

Keen-eyed readers will have spotted that I wrote Peter started out making one cuvée. Starting in the 2013 vintage, however, Peter added a second cuvée, a sparkling Vouvray, albeit not in every vintage. Made by the méthode traditionnelle, this started life as a brut style, repeated in 2014, and perhaps the same in 2017 (I tasted an early disgorgement and Peter had not settled on the dosage). Presumably enthused by the response to these wines, Peter has since gone back to the 2012 vintage, a lesser vintage for the appellation, and refashioned it in a sparkling style. In this most recent tasting with Peter, I began with this long-aged sparkling cuvée.

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