2012Mellot2012 Alphonse Mellot, Sancerre Rouge, Les Herses, Loire Valley, France.
A “cult” Pinot Noir from the Loire the Alphone Mellot Sancerre Rouge is living up to the hype, this deep and Sonoma Coast dark red is jaw-dropping, it takes some decanting and time, this 2012, but wow, when it opens it is stunning. A recent Loire tasting as all it took to make me a believer in Alphonse Mellot’s Pinot, but like Burgundy these wines need some age on them, the 2012 when I first tasted it about 7 months ago was massive and so tight it was too hard to judge, but now it is really starting to reveal gorgeous detail and is opening up wonderfully, while remaining vigorous and intense, this is wildly impressive and exciting stuff with a gloriously long finish. Grown on Silex soils and small yields help bring out concentration and the cone is particularly rich in color, making Mellot’s Sancerre Rouge unique and powerful in the glass, especially the Les Herses which has a garnet and ruby hue. While pouring into a decanter waves of floral perfume, earth, flint/stones and spices came rushing out with dried violets, leather, red rose petal, a hint of graphite and kirsch coming into focus along with touch of mint, clay and forest berries. The palate is firm and well structured with black raspberry, plum, currant and sweet red cherry fruit as well as anise, cinnamon stick, sticky lavender, cedar and smoky mineral. This young Pinot feels more Nuits-St.-Georges than Loire with briar, bramble and grippy tannins, the pretty elements take the center stage when allowed the grace period to awaken, be patient and reap the rewards, I’d give it another 3 to 5 years to really become a superstar, it certainly shows the core of a great wine, best from 2018 to 2029. If you can’t wait, then be sure to make an evening of this Sancerre Rouge and may I suggest duck breast or wild mushroom dishes, this is serious juice to be celebrated and it needs food to shine.
($65 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

By admin