Lionel Gosseaume’s Exceptional Loire White

by Charles Lea

Bring a bit of real summer to this dark time of year with some of this amazing white. It includes a variety which might test even the authors of the new great tome ‘Wine Grapes’, (Jancis Robinson MW, Julia Harding MW and Swiss botanist Dr José Vouillamoz). This is the first vintage of this blend from Lionel Gosseaume, and the first time I have ever encountered the grape ‘Meslier Saint Francois’.

2009 CLIMAT NO. 2 47°23’29” N, 1°19’52” E Domaine de Pierre £12.95 single bottle, £11.95 ‘case’ price.

Loire guru Jim Budd also got very excited about it early this year, calling it ‘My most interesting wine of Loire Salon 2012′. We expected to sell it with great success in the summer, but it closed up after bottling, and has only now returned to form. Tasted again today and it’s now showing all the class and style which got us so excited in January last year. Lovely nose with twining scented aromas of lemon, elderflower, passion fruit and honeysuckle, and all this continues onto the palate with sherbety brightness in a full body. A half and half blend of Meslier Saint François with Sauvignon. And at this price a bargain too – not to be missed. A lovely aperitif, it would go well with smoked salmon or eve slightly spicy / oriental flavours.

My most interesting wine of Loire Salon 2012: Climat No 2 – Lionel Gosseaume has finally bottled his Meslier Saint-François, an old grape from Touraine which has virtually disappeared. It can be very productive and once used to be exported to Germany to make sparkling wine because of its high acidity. Lionel has blended his Meslier Saint-François, whose yield he limited to 45 hl/ha, with an equal amount of Sauvignon Blanc. It was aged for two years in an old foudre. Climat No2 has rich, very ripe opulent fruit but well balanced with marked acidity and is fascinatingly different. Very limited production – only 2000 bottles. Jim Budd.

3 thoughts on “Lionel Gosseaume’s Exceptional Loire White

  1. José Vouillamoz

    Dear Charles Lea

    Glad to see you mention Wine Grapes, many thanks, but please note that Meslier Saint-François is carefully and thoroughly described in our book. We mention the (only?) varietal wine made by Charles Joumert in Villiers-sur-Loir.
    Best regards
    José Vouillamoz

  2. Charles Lea Post author

    I sent an email to Jancis yesterday suggesting she might like to try this wine, saying “My copy of Wine Grapes finally arrived today – so I was able to look up the entry for Meslier Saint Francois” – so yes I saw that it was comprehensively described. I’ll have to go and see M. Joumert next time I’m down there, but Lionel thought it was too acid to bottle on its own even after two years fattening up on the lees, hence the blend – which is now remarkable.

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