Domaine de Montcy, 2015 Update

Quiet and sleepy, I suspect even regular visitors to the Loire Valley tend to overlook the vineyards of the Sologne, the fat finger of land that lies between the Loire to the north, and the Cher to the south. Its leading appellations, Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny, are both young, the two regions having been elevated from vin de qualité supérieure status as recently as 1993, and they do not have the same reach or reputation as Vouvray or Montlouis, both of which occupy prominent positions on the banks of the Loire. But while the appellations are young, this is not a young wine region per se; the history of viticulture in the Sologne can be traced back to at least the 16th century, when the forests were renowned for their hunting, and visiting kings and noblemen needed a local source of wine to wash down their catch.

Domaine de Montcy has a suitably ancient heritage, having started out as a dependency of the Château de Troussay, the first stone for which was laid in 1450. This is no sleepy domaine though. It’s proprietor, Laura Semeria (pictured below), took the reins in 2006, and the wines now reflect this new injection of enthusiasm and investment. They are at the upper levels sleek and defined, gently polished by oak, while remaining true to their origins, a large part of which comes from the unique assemblage of varieties used here, distinctive blends for Cheverny, and the famed Romorantin for Cour-Cheverny of course.

Laura Semeria, Domaine de Montcy

It is always a delight to catch up with Laura, and to reacquaint myself with here wines. The appellation as a whole has had some difficult vintages recently (with frost in both 2012 and 2013 being a problem), and in these most recent tastings I caught the tale end of this with one or two of the 2013s, before moving onto the more delicious 2014s. The more recent vintage, although the more successful of the two, was in reality also a difficult one, with a heavy attack of mildew in June 2014, followed by rain and cool temperatures in August. Nevertheless, chez Semeria, the year has been a success I think. After good weather in September the reports that the skins of the fruit she picked were thick, the juice concentrated, and the yields low at 25 hl/ha.

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