Thursday, 13 June 2013
Jacky Blot: Clos Mosny, 2012s en barrel and 2011s
An appropriate and coincidental headline in Libération for Triple Zéro, the domaine's
very popular Montlouis pétillant non-dosé, although the article
The problem – missing vines (above)
Solution – replacements
Very interesting visit yesterday morning to see Jacky Blot (Domaine de la Taille aux Loups) to see progress in the Clos Mosny, taste top 2012s in barrel, the 2011s as well as pick up some 2011 wines we had ordered.
It is impressive to see the progress made in the Clos Mosny since Jacky and his team took over in late 2010. The Clos that used to be used to produce grapes for Monmousseau's sparkling wine (before Monmousseau's purchase by Ackerman Laurance) is now being transformed. Missing vines replaced, new trellising and identifying parcels by quality within the 12 hectare clos.
"We have replaced 2000 vines here this year – 12,000 throughout our domaine."
It is only really when there are few missing vines in a vineyard that you can accurately calculate the yield per hectare. The décret cahier des charges attached to the 2011 Montlouis appellation now specifies that there should be no more than 20%:
'Cahier des charges de l’appellation d’origine contrôlée « MONTLOUIS-SUR-LOIRE » homologué par le décret n° 2011-1276 du 11 octobre 2011
e) - Seuil de manquants
Le pourcentage de pieds de vigne morts ou manquants, visé à l’article D. 645-4 du code rural et de la pêche maritime, est fixé à 20 %.'
The yield per vine is also limited to two kilos per vine, so if the rules are strictly applied it shouldn't matter in terms of yield if there are many vines missing, although calculating accurate what the permitted yield ought to be taking into account the percentage of vines missing is tricky.
Replacing the trellising is an expensive business: there are around 25 kilometres of wire needed per hectare – 6.6 kilometres per wire. (Jim: 26.4 kms of wire).
Jacky has split the Clos up into a number of parcels as inevitably over a 12 hectare plot the quality of the grapes produced varies. One of the best parcels is in the centre of the Clos, while one of the least good is up at the top close to the entrance as well as one right down at the south west end close to the road between Montlouis and Saint Martin le Beau. Interestingly Parcel 7, which was initally thought to lack potential has turned out to produce much higher quality grapes. This somewhat mirrors Les Perrières at La Butte, Bourgueil, which rapidly showed it had a much greater quality potential than initially thought.
2012s Montlouis and Vouvray in barrel
Although 2012 was short in quantity, the quality is good with very clean, precise wines many with considerable salinity in the finish. Jacky compares them to the 2010s. Although the wines are not finished, the potential of the Clos Mosny is becoming clearer along with the differences between the parcels. He is revelling in the ability to downgrade wines from the Clos that aren't up to scratch for the single vineyard cuvée to go into Rémus, Les Dix Arpents, Triple Zéro or even the Brut Tradition. There is a lot of flexibility here.
Jacky is increasingly persuaded that the best dry Montlouis and Vouvrays come from years of less sunshine – hope still for 2012! – rather than hot years like 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011. However, since 2009 he has been keen to pick earlier in hot years and this comes through in his 2011 dry wines that have a fine balance of fruit and acidity with a freshness and punch in the finish despite being a sunny year. It was interesting to taste a rather lumpen 2006 Rémus from a time when Jacky was still equating quality with plenty of sunshine.
My favourite 2011 wines: Montlouis – Rémus+, Clos Mosny; Vouvray – Clos de la Bretonnière and Clos de Venise.