The Montlouis appellation of the left bank of the Loire, sandwiched between Vouvray on the north bank and Touraine to the south is classic Chenin Blanc country, and home to excellent expressions of the grape, with enough difference to make them stand apart from their neighbours. Some aficionados wax lyrical about them, but I’ve never had examples to blow me away.
With The Spaders in town and the I-Spy Man, it was time to have a little dabble in Montlouis, with a 2012 Frantz Saumon ‘Mineral+’ Montlouis bottling. Saumon is a ‘natural’ winemaker, quite non-interventionalist and the ‘Mineral+’ is barrel-fermented with wild yeasts. Fans love its boldness and flavours of apple, honey, and you guessed it, minerals!
Our bottle impressed with its fruitiness and mouthfilling presence. Certainly waxy and lanolin, up-front with savoury white flowers and stonefruits and a juiciness. However, along with it was a more rustic earthiness, which sure added complexity, making it very Euro-funky, without being faulty. Sulphide notes, maybe even a little oxidation, said SWMBO. The mouthfeel with enough energy from the acidity to drive its mouthfilling size. Not quite mineral-plus for me and maybe a bit of a country wine.