Alphonse Mellot | Sancerre at its finest
A rich history linked to the King of France
Since the 16th century, the Mellot family can be found in the local archives as vinegrowers and wine merchants. Their continued success led King Louis XIV to a appoint César Mellot as his personal wine consultant in 1698. Thus, in the early 19th century, Alphonse Mellot created the family home in Sancerre which continued its expansion (over 30 hectares) from father to son, the eldest of each generation bearing the name of the founder. The wines are produced in the high vineyards of Sancerre, composed of limestone soil, expressing the noble grape variety Sauvignon Blanc in all its delicacy, bouquet and transparency.
From the legendary Domaine de La Moussiere vineyard of Sancerre, where ancient vines stretch their roots deep into Kimmeridgian limestone soils, come some of the greatest Sauvignon Blanc wines in the world, their labels graced with the signature of Alphonse Mellot. Today run by the 19th generation of Mellot family winemakers, who cautiously guard a winemaking legacy over 500 years old, this estate is clearly in a league of its own, even classified “hors concours” which quite literally means “unrivalled in quality.”
Indulge in the waves of citrus, oak and chalky minerality in each glass of Alphonse Mellot white or try their fruity, spicy Pinot Noir wines, some of the best expressions of Sancerre in red.
Five centuries of excellence in Sancerre
A deep love for the Loire Valley
The earliest records of the Mellot family in the Sancerre region of France date back to 1513. At the time, the family was already regarded as a leading figure in the production and sale of high-quality wines from the region. In 1698, César Mellot was appointed as Louis XIV's personal wine advisor, expanding the reach and recognition for the family’s wines to Paris and Versailles. In the early 19th century, the family established a tavern in Sancerre, which offered local wines and became hugely popular. But it was not until 1881, when Alphonse Mellot was first granted a license to ship wines all over France and the world, that the international reputation of the Mellot family wines truly flourished. Since then, the company has been run by successive generations of the Mellot family, passed down from father to son, making them the 18th and 19th family members to bear the name.
Recently, the Alphonse Mellot estate has passed from Alphonse Senior (of the 18th generation) to his son Alphonse Junior and daughter Emmanuelle. Together, Alphonse and Emmanuelle Mellot have continued the to drive forward the legacy of their ancestors, while also lending their own unique touch to the wines of the estate.
The spectacular Sancerre terroir
At the heart of the Alphonse Mellot estate is its flagship La Moussiere vineyard in the Sancerre appellation of France’s picturesque Loire Valley. Comprising 30 hectares all in one piece, this beautiful and historic site is home to the family’s oldest vines and is classified as a unique category of Sancerre vineyard. Here, vines of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir stretch their ancient roots deep into rich Kimmeridgian limestone soil, Saint Doulchard marl and chalky Buzancais soils. The south-facing exposure of this vineyard in upper Sancerre allows the fruit to enjoy ample sunshine and ripen fully even in the cool continental climate characterizing the Sancerre appellation.
From the vines of the limestone-rich La Moussiere vineyard, Alphonse Mellot produces the flagship “La Moussiere” blend in red, white and rosé.
Nature-minded farming practices
Treating nature with respect
All farming at Alphonse Mellot is organic and certified biodynamic, with a team of 40 employees dedicated to the estate’s 47 hectares of vines. The teams believe that Mother Nature mirrors their boundless efforts, so they make sure to treat their land with the utmost respect. The vines are planted at a high density of 8,000 to 10,000 vines per hectare and pruned throughout the winter to oxygenate the soil and encourage greater soil biodiversity all the way down to the rocky subsoil. The buds are limited in number to encourage a lower yield of very high-quality, fully ripened fruit. The team also carried out a thorough observation of the leaf stomata, through which the vines synthesize the “minerals of the sky.” From these beautiful terroirs, deemed some of the best in Sancerre and in France, the Alphonse Mellot team cultivates roughly equal amounts of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, the two iconic grape varieties of the appellation.
Crafting fine Loire Valley wines
Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from Sancerre
At Domaine Alphonse Mellot, the grapes are harvested manually into small trays in order to avoid damaging the fruit before its arrival to the winery. Constructed between the 15th and 17th century , the Alphonse Mellot cellars are located in the heart of the historic town of Sancerre and are equipped with some of the finest winemaking equipment.
Serving and enjoying the wines of Alphonse Mellot
The Alphonse Mellot reds should be served at 14 to 16° C on their own or 14 to 18° C with a meal.
The estate’s flagship biodynamic Alphonse Mellot “La Moussiere” white exudes a bouquet of white flowers on the nose, while the palate is lively, supple, deep and welcoming, with notes of crushed lime and nectarine, along with earthy mineral notes. This iconic white Sancerre will pair beautifully with fish tartare, broiled lobster tail, braised ham in a creamy white sauce or – a true Sancerre classic – Chavignol goat cheese.
Meanwhile, the Pinot Noirs of Alphonse Mellot are delightfully mellow, structured and rich, offering luscious red berry fruit and a pleasant spicy hint on the long, lingering finish. Pair these red Sancerre wines with freshwater fish like pike-perch and catfish, a smoky eggplant caviar or pears poached in wine.