Domaine de Montcy, Loire

The appellation of Cheverny is less well-known than others of the central Loire. Gaining appellation contrôlée status only in 1993, it makes red, rosé and white wines. For red wines, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Gamay are grown along with Cot, the local name for Malbec. Whites are based on Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Gris, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Arbois play a minor role. Rosé is predominantly Pinot Noir.

Domaine de Montcy is a biodynamic estate in Cheverny, which the Chevrier family took over in 2020. Winemaker is Vincent Bonnal, an advocate of organic and natural wine. He came to the domaine from the Languedoc, though his zigzag path had previously seen him work in Chile, the UK and China. Minimum sulphur is used in all wines, with no addition of yeasts or enzymes.

Domaine de Montcy farms thirty hectares spread over four main plots in Chevery and its sub-region, Cour-Chevreny. The latter makes white wines only, and is a bastion of the rare Romorantin variety. All estate vineyards have been certified organic since 2012, and biodynamic since 2015. A new winery was built in June 2022 with high eco credentials including 284 solar panels that serve the winery’s energy needs, as well as those of 32 local families.

At time of review the Domaine is in talks with UK distributors, but I was contacted by them and agreed to taste the following wines, which make up their current portfolio.

White Wines

(2023) A blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc with Chardonnay, aged in tank for six months with the lees. The punch and freshness of the Sauvignon in this cuvée compared to the Clos des Cendres is probably as much to do with it being two years younger as the skin-contact component of the latter, but it is noticeable: vivacious with a herbal streak, peachy and hinting at the tropical but with a pretty, lightly floral aspect. In the mouth it still has substance, and while it lacks the intensity of the Clos des Cendres, it has citrus juiciness, fresh and grapefruity, and a fine line of acidity into the finish.
(2023) A blend of Sauvignon Blanc (60%) from 80-year-old vines and Chardonnay. There was 24 hours skin contact for the Sauvignon, followed by 12 months ageing on the lees for the blend. A very composed, unflashy nose, not showing Sauvignon's herbaceous side too much, instead citrus and a cool apple and pear skin firmness. In something of a house style, the palate really fleshes out with sweet and ripe fruit concentration, suggesting juicy red apples and lemon zest. Again too, a little grippy phenolic edge from that skin contact. There's real concentration here, with the acid etching the finish it's a substantial wine that needs food. de Montcy suggest everything from cheese to fish to chicken.
(2023) There is more silica in the soils here in Cour-Cheverny, and this 100% Romorantin wine is unoaked but was aged on the lees. A subtle and appealing nose, lightly herbal and with melon rind and citrus peel notes. The wild yeast character gives a little yeasty, wheat beer touch. In the mouth dry and full-bodied. There's more of that lightly phenolic fruit skin character that gives some grip, some spice and a hint of tannin. Good acidity, the whole picture different and intriguing.
(2023) From 25-year-old Romorantin vines, this aged 12 months on the lees in 500 litre, locally produced oak barrels. An extra creaminess and touch more opulence than the Lucé cuvée, but still that lightly bready and waxy character and earthy wild yeast note too. Lovely in the mouth, with an intensity of citrus and fine purity. Again it has that structure with some fine tannin, but smoothed by the time in barrel into a long, gently spicy but very clear and pure finish.  

Red Wines

(2023) An unoaked blend of Pinot Noir 60%, Gamay 35% and Côt 5%, this comes from clay and limestone soils. Crimson red, with a delicate, translucent rim. The nose is refined and pretty. The absence of oak allows soft berry and lightly herbal smoky notes to show through, leading on to a palate which burst with surprising fruit ripeness and sweetness. There is nice weight, the purity of fruit persisting to a finish that stays taut with crispness to both tannins and acidity.  
(2023) This red cuvée does see oak, one third of the blend aged for 12 months in locally coopered barrels. the blend is Pinot Noir 75%, Gamay 20%, Côt 5%. A deep garnet, but still a little light at the rim. Dark and quite gamy compared to the Cabriole cuvée, there's a meatiness here, I wondered about a hint of brett at first, but with a little air it definitely more about mushroom and truffle earthiness. Sweet, mouth-filling red fruit, more serious and chewy than the Cabriolet for sure. Meaty is the word again, the barrel component and broader tannins giving the finish some spice and heft.  

Domaine de Montcy



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