Exclusive offer: 7/31/2023 — The Best Pinot Noir Offer of the Year?

Offer available as inventory lasts.

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Hi everyone –

It’s rare that we announce a special offer outside of Fridays, but this one fell into our laps and it’s too good to wait.

This might turn out to be the best Pinot Noir buy of the year. We have committed to the entire allocation, so it’s only available through Solo Vino at this special price.

This is a blockbuster.

We’re proud to offer you: Alphonse Mellot “La Moussiere” Sancerre Rouge 2020.

First, something to think about

This is a red Sancerre, something most people are not used to seeing. Many don’t even realize that Pinot Noir is allowed to grow in the land of Sauvignon Blanc in the Loire Valley, but it’s true and has been so for many decades.

And the truth of the matter is that outside of Sancerre Rouge being a curiosity, there was little reason to seek it out for the last twenty years. Why? Because historically, it’s been a bit too cold in Sancerre to fully ripen Pinot Noir, making the Sancerre Rouges of the past tart, thin, too high in acidity, and overall just not very good.

But the climate has changed, and it’s freaking lovers of Burgundy out. Suddenly the impacts of global warming are being felt big time in traditional Pinot Noir strongholds such as Burgundy, and it’s altering the historic style faster than many wine lovers care to admit.

So where to go for great Pinot Noir? Where it used to be a touch too cold, but now it is quite perfect: Sancerre!

The crazy history of Alphonse Mellot and his winery

Start with this: in 2013, the winery celebrated its 500th anniversary. Chew on that one a bit.

Here’s another: back in the day, a member of the Mellot family was the personal wine advisor to King Louis XIV.

And yet another: the current Alphonse Mellot is the 19th generation, and every generation has been named the same. All are named Alphonse Mellot! (Talk about pressure … it’s like being part of the British royals.)

Image from the website Letting the Wine Speak. See their article on Alphonse Mellot: https://lettingthewinespeak.com/tag/alphonse-mellot/

From The Vintage Club in Singapore:

For more than half a millennium the Alphonse Mellot family have been in the winemaking business and have contributed enormously to the international success of Sancerre. Since 1513, and for 18 generations, the first-born son of the family has been baptised Alphonse, but beyond this family history there are the wines, both red and white, that capture our attention.

These are Sancerres that are truly incommensurate with the rest of the appellation. The Mellot family wines are universally lauded and have been for centuries. Those who taste them marvel at their ability to trigger emotions and lift the soul. King Louis XIV even chose César Mellot to be his viticultural advisor.

This is truly a domaine steeped in history and the ancient caves of this domaine, built between the 15th and 17th century, are breath-taking and worth a visit for anyone who finds themselves in Sancerre. At the close of the 19th century, the family began to export their wine as well as distribute them all over France. Little by little the name of Domaine de La Moussière was dropped in favour of the family name.

Today, Alphonse Senior (18th generation) has handed the reins over to his son Alphonse Junior and his daughter Emmanuelle and over the last ten years the two young winemakers have brought their own style and personality to the wines.

The work in the vineyard is exceptional: biodynamic viticulture, a strict no chemical input policy, manual upkeep of the vines and small yields all contribute to making this wine truly special. Vintage after vintage, the family continue to discover and respect the terroir responsible for giving their wines their identity.


Biodynamic farming in a region of industrialists

From Letting the Wine Speak:

All farming and grape growing at the Mellot vineyard, La Moussière, is organic and certified biodynamic (since 1999), with only copper and sulfur being used on the vines—copper to combat peronospera (downy mildew) and sulfur to guard against oidium (powdery mildew).

Alphonse Mellot is one of only five biodynamic producers in Sancerre. In a region where some 98 percent of fruit is machine harvested, Mellot meticulously picks his grapes by hand into small 25-kilogram (about 55 pounds) cases.

The large percentage of old low-yielding vines, with some parcels planted in 1931, 1948, and 1951, grow in soils of limestone, flint (silex), clay, and chalk, which lend tremendous complexity to the wines.


How we got the deal we did

A local distributor/importer is changing warehouses and working hard to clean up some stuck inventory. Knowing we could help move some products if we got suitable discounts, they approached us with a sweetheart deal that we couldn’t pass up.

Here are the current prices on Winesearcher. Our price is much, much, MUCH lower:

Tasting note

This stunning Pinot Noir stylistically falls smack dab between an incredible Russian River Valley Pinot, a Premier Cru Red Burgundy, and the best of Willamette Valley. I know that’s a lot to process and a big statement to make, but trust me on this. The aromas have the red fruit of the Russian River, the black fruit of Willamette, and the mineral/earthy edge of a great Burgundy. Spicy black cherry, charcoal/pencil lead, sappy clove-dusted raspberry, and fresh-turned fall soil after a rainstorm (dried leaves, etc.).

Angela, on her first whiff of the wine (without knowing what it was): “This is like that super cool and interesting-looking person at the party that you can’t wait to talk to. It’s sexy and smooth. Wow!”

The mouthfeel and finish on this is one of my favorite things. ABSOLUTELY SEAMLESS. It delivers all the goods without stumbling or tripping at all. Textural mouthfeel that dances with a bead of acidity throughout, finishing bright and lively. It’s one of those rare wines that really wants food but doesn’t need food.

Buying advice

So there is one thing that I thought about regarding this gem: this may be the ultimate gift wine for the year. You can give it to anyone, and everyone will appreciate it, and if they are in the know, they’ll be like, “Red Sancerre? How cool!” and once people taste it, they will never forget it. It ticks all the boxes: family-owned and operated, biodynamically farmed, incredible quality, and a fantastic price.

So start your company and neighborhood shopping now. Grab a few bottles for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’ll buy six to enjoy in the fall and winter and stash a few for the next five years.

Grab it now. Limited to the stock that we could buy.

Thank you, everyone! We couldn’t do this without you!

Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education

Offer and special pricing are available through Monday, or as supplies last

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