The Loire Valley has to be one of the most consistent go-to wine regions in France, particularly for wine nerds. From Chenin Blanc to Cabernet Franc, the diversity in style is courageous and inspiring. Enter Muscadet, also known as Melon de Bourgogne, which is one of the most neutral grape varieties on the planet. The vibe is similar to that of Chablis, generally producing wines with refreshing acidity. I struggle to think of a better wine to pair with fresh seafood (oysters) than Muscadet. The Nantes region of the Loire Valley has been a port city since the Roman era, and well known for its seafood, so some great synergies with food.
Winemaker Pierre-Henri Gadais is leading the Muscadet charge at Domaine de la Combe. At the heart of the Nantes region they are located in Saint-Fiacre, the only village embedded between the two Sevre and Maine rivers. Over time, the valleys of these rivers have shaped steep slopes and drawn an eroded soil. Nowadays, these slopes are rocky and make up a terroir which is conducive to the cultivation of the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety. The large number of pebbles allow for a good drainage, forcing the roots to go down in this cracked rock to draw water deep down.
We are super excited to welcome the following wines to the MezzanineTFWS stable
Matt Dunne - Group Wine Ambassador
Super crisp, flinty notes with a hint of lemon on the nose and a palate with fresh, zesty, savoury tones with hints of green apple along with yeasty notes from 8 months on lees. A classic Muscadet with character and flavour representative of the vintage.
Tell your customers: Melon de Bourgogne is the fourth most planted grape variety in France (over 12,000 hectares), just ahead of Semillon.
omes from a specific selection of grapes known as “the Infernale”, a nickname that it owes to its vertiginous inclination. From 70 year old vines it is aged for 14 months on lees in underground vats and is not filtered. The result is a richer, more layered fruit profile of green apple, lemon curd and ginger spice, still with that classic underlying mineral drive and focus.
Tell your customers: Fire up the BBQ this winter to eat grilled prawns with chili, lemon & garlic with this one!
Pictured: Pierre-Henri Gadais
There is no doubt that lighter-framed, high-toned reds have been surging in popularity. I’m talking the likes of Gamay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Dolcetto to name a few of the current number one hits. They are so versatile, and you can serve them chilled if you fancy. But in the cooler months the more medium-bodied, savoury styles of reds are chiming in with some serious vigour and an equal amount of excitement. I’m not only talking single-varietal celebrations, but the artful skill in making great wines from meticulously crafted blends. The blend can certainly be your friend!
When you think of the Veneto in Italy you would normally have your Soave hat on. When you think of Carmenѐre you probably are dreaming you were in Chile right now and actually able to travel out of Australia. Veneto Legend Stefano Inama did some early trials that showed there was great potential for Carmenѐre just south east of the Soave Hills (Colli Berici). Each plot is assessed, worked, harvested and vinified separately. Inama are entering an exciting new phase working with Bordeaux’s Stephane Derenoncourt Consultants alongside their own talented team including son’s Alessio, Luca and Matteo. Watch this space!
(70% Carmenѐre and 30% Merlot) From low yielding, organically farmed vines. Bursting aromas of red cherries, cocoa and black pepper. Palate is fresh, spicy with a juicy smattering of layered red & black fruits, soft powdery tannins and a sophisticated, long length. Did someone say grilled pork, polenta, mushrooms and cheese?
Tell your customers: Think of it as a great alternative to Valpolicella or an Argentinean Malbec.
This is a blend of 50% Malbec and 50% Jurançon Noir from a single 0.5 hectare plot located on a hill 350 metres above sea level with calcareous soils. From 50 year old vines the wine is vatted in cement tanks and barrels and macerates on skins for 7 days. Lashings of fresh raspberry and cherry on the nose and palate. Fresh, intense with a rustic tannin profile and some slight meatier notes (salami) and spice elements (wild sage). Definitely the ultimate mid-week pizza wine and it’s such a great drink by itself.
Tell your customers: Ever tried a Jurançon Noir? Typically has a moderate level of alcohol and colour and often used to make rosé or lighter styles of red. Supposedly named after the commune of Jurançon in the Pyrenees-Altantiques, in the far south west of France.
The beginning of the Desvignes range is Saint Vincent, which comes from numerous estate parcels in Douby, north of the Côte du Py and bordering Fleurie. Douby has deeper, sandier, granitic soils and yields a more supple style of Morgon compared to Py's famously muscular one. The vines for La Voûte average 60 years old. This wine sports an easily digestible tone, echoing the resonance of its schist terroir, dark black fruits with firmly framed tannins and a sleek, fresh finish. Beef Pho and vegetarian spring rolls with this please!
Tell your customers: The Morgon cru, overlooked by Mont du Py, is the largest of the Beaujolais crus. The famous Côte du Py is made up of decomposed shale.