Alphonse Mellot Satellite Sancerre Blanc 2020
Satellite, a cuvee resulting from the assemblage of five superb localities on the Chavignol hillsides in the Sancerre appellation. This 100% Sauvignon white wine has an elegant nose, a golden robe with paler glints about it, and a taste of ripe quince and grapefruit that leaves a gently refreshing fruitiness on the palate with notes of citrus peel and a crystalline iodine finish. Accompanied by oysters, a langoustine cassoulet or Crottin de Chavignol cheese, Satellite provides immediate pleasure and will gradually come to express its full complexity as the years pass.
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A blend from five vineyards, this full wine is dense, ripe while also poised. The balance between rich apple and kiwi flavors and the edge of minerality is just right. It will be ready from 2023. Organic and biodynamic.
Blending five vineyards (and soil types including marl, limestone and sandstone laminae) in Chavignol, Mellot's 2020 Sancerre Satellite offers a pure, elegant, delicately fresh and aromatic bouquet of white stone fruits and crushed stones. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, this is an elegant, dense and lush, finely structured and persistent Sancerre with intense Peruvian cherry and yellow plum aromas. This 2020 is beautifully balanced and less mighty than the corresponding La Moussière. The finish is stimulatingly grippy and reveals a perfectly fine tannin structure as well as ripeness. A gorgeous wine to drink now. 13% stated alcohol. Diam cork. Tasted in January 2022. Best after 2022.
Shows beautiful concentration to the flavors of sweet lime, green plum, mirabelle plum and white asparagus, which are cut with a firming beam of acidity. Chalky minerals add depth and detail, and the long finish features a refreshing menthol note. A complete, harmonious and delicious wine.
There is much controversy surrounding the origins of Sancerre. Certain historians attribute it to Julius Cesar, others to a Saxon settlement that is said to have been established during the reign of Charlemagne. It is however certain that its history goes back to the beginning of the Middle Ages, before the year 1000 and that a Castle was erected on this privileged site.
As far back as the XVI century, in 1513 to be exact, the local records mention the MELLOT family, whose life even at that time was governed by the seasons of the vine and the production of wines of excellent quality. The Mellot family, vinegrowers and wine merchants, was again mentioned during the siege of the town. They pursued their patient labours and continued to gain recognition because César Mellot was appointed as Wine Advisor to Louis XIV in 1698.
At the beginning of the XIX century, ALPHONSE MELLOT founded a tavern in Sancerre where one could savour the local wines and so began a flourishing trade that was to continue. In 1881 he was granted a licence to ship his wine throughout France and all over the World. This marked the beginning of a pacific conquest which has been pursued and developed by the family business from father to son ever since, with the eldest son continuing to bear the name of the Founder Alphonse.
Today, this century old winemaking tradition is perpetuated by Alphonse MELLOT, father and son, the 18th and 19th to bear the name.
Marked by its charming hilltop village in the easternmost territory of the Loire, Sancerre is famous for its racy, vivacious, citrus-dominant Sauvignon blanc. Its enormous popularity in 1970s French bistros led to its success as the go-to restaurant white around the globe in the 1980s.
While the region claims a continental climate, noted for short, hot summers and long, cold winters, variations in topography—rolling hills and steep slopes from about 600 to 1,300 feet in elevation—with great soil variations, contribute the variations in character in Sancerre Sauvignon blancs.
In the western part of the appellation, clay and limestone soils with Kimmeridgean marne, especially in Chavignol, produce powerful wines. Moving closer to the actual town of Sancerre, soils are gravel and limestone, producing especially delicate wines. Flint (silex) soils close to the village produce particularly perfumed and age-worthy wines.
About ten percent of the wines claiming the Sancerre appellation name are fresh and light red wines made from Pinot noir and to a lesser extent, rosés. While not typically exported in large amounts, they are well-made and attract a loyal French following.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.