Tag Archives: Jean-François Merieau
By Andrew Chapman: April 25, 2012
By Mark Bedford: September 15, 2011
We always get very excited about every new wine that we discover, ship and begin selling to our customers in Hampshire, Berkshire and beyond. Then like new toys, the wines join the ranks of established bottles on our shelves, standing back as others enjoy the limelight of novelty and a seasonal glow. Recently I have revisited two of the wines that we included in our shipment from Jean-François Merieau, and I was captivated by their quality, originality and ability to age.
Jean-François Merieau - a little background.
Based about 50 kilometres to the south east of Tours, Jean-François has returned to his roots after working vintages abroad including an extended stay in South Africa, where Chenin Blanc continues to be the most widely planted grape variety. He is dedicated to working with ancient grape varieties that have been grown on the hills south of Tours for centuries, rather than espouse only big brand varieties that are easily recognised and are reliable sellers. Caviste drinkers have been captivated by his Malbec wines, a variety known locally at ‘Cot’, and drunk through two vintages of a delicate Pinot Noir grown at the little known Saint Pourçain which lies between Sancerre and Mâcon. We have two other of his unique wines that merit special attention.
Jean-François Merieau Fleuve Blanc, Vouvray 2005 @ £17.95
Oh boy – does Chenin Blanc age well. This six year old beauty (translates as ‘white river’) is showing a wealth of dimensions following fermentation and maturation in old oak casks, followed by extended bottle age. Framed by a green apple acidity the core of flavour resonates with honeycomb, citrus, even a hint of marmalade. It is broad and complex – and demonstrates what phenomenal quality can be discovered under £20 a bottle when one steps outside the boundaries of the big name grape varieties.
Jean-François Merieau Tirage Limite Sauvignon Rose 2008 @ £21.00
Sauvignon Rose, also known as Sauvignon Gris, is believed to predate Sauvignon Blanc, displaying the same level of acidity but with a wider variety of aromatics without the gooseberry or nettle characteristics of its better known cousin. Almost abandoned as a variety due to its ridiculously low yields, there remain a few devotees in the Loire, Graves and Chile who are finding an audience for its unique integrated characteristics and flavours, Only 1500 bottles were made of this wine, using a combination of stainless steel, 25% new oak and some enthusiastic ‘batonnage’. The result is a rich and complex white wine with distinct dried apricot on the nose with honey suckle notes, followed by a refreshing Sauvignon acidity on the palate. Its intensity broadens with age.
Follow the link to see all of Jean-François Merieau's wines that we list.
Both these wines will partner a variety of well flavoured poultry and fish dishes, and prove a worthy match for aged white cheeses. These are fine wines that deserve an attentive and appreciating audience and will bring enormous pleasure to the broad minded wine drinker.