Saturday, 16 August 2014
James Millton (Millton Vineyards, NZ)@Peter Hahn (Vouvray)
Peter Hahn in his Vouvray vineyards (Clos de la Meslerie)
Peter Hahn and James Millton
Back in June, our last Touraine visit with James Millton was to see Peter Hahn at his Le Clos de la Meslerie in Vouvray. Peter is American but has long lived in France. His background is in finance. He bought the Clos and its three hectares of vines in 2002 with 2008 being his first vintage. Before buying Meslerie, Peter had been searching for a suitable property throughout vinous France.
Peter has documents about the estate dating back to 1620, while a plaque on the front of the house is dated 1766.
The vineyards are farmed biodynamically. The wines are natural. I first tasted Peter's Vouvray at the RAW fair in London and was very impressed with his wines. Peter is experimenting with using mechanisation as little as possible.
The wines are imported into the UK by Dynamic Vines. Bottles sell for around £30, which is a very good price for a recently established Vouvray producer. Peter makes just one wine per vintage. He was fortunate in 2013 as the June 17th hailstorm stopped just 50 yards away to the west of the property.
After visiting the vineyards and the winery, we tasted four vintages from 2012 back to 2009.
2012 (2 grams of residual sugar)
Lean, witch hazel nose, attractive texture, citric flavour particularly grapefruit, quite lean acidity in the finish. This 2012 is a success given the difficult vintage and is considerably more complex and interesting than some 2012 Vouvrays I have tasted.
2011 (10 gms residual sugar)
Sweeter nose than the 2012, richly textured, good length with an austere finish, aromas of peach and apricot in the empty glass.
2010 (40 grams residual sugar)
This was my favourite wine of the flight with quince flavours, opulent texture and concentration. Lovely balance. Should age for many years.
2009 (30 grams residual sugar)
Floral aromas – quince again as well as white truffle, good texture with a mineral finish.
Le Clos de la Meslerie
The estate dates back to 1620.
(above and below)
The 1766 plaque
James praying for the bees?
The end of successful flowering – June 2014
A quince tree beside the vines
Quince is a frequent tasting note for Chenin Blanc
Peter in the winery
2009 Le Clos de la Meslerie