When Peter Hahn approached us hoping to find an importer for the Vouvray he produced from his newly-acquired estate, “Le Clos de la Meslerie”, we were impressed by the elegance that this novice vigneron had coaxed from his scant 4 hectares of Chenin Blanc. Even more compelling, his Vouvray captured the unique terroir of its site overlooking the village of Vernou-sur-Brenne, located directly east of the village of Vouvray yet still situated within the appellation. This provides an instructive contrast to the Vouvrays produced by the master Philippe Foreau, our long-time source (30+ years) of this oft-misunderstood and under-appreciated appellation.
The Clos de la Meslerie has a winemaking history that dates back to the eighteenth century, but when Peter Hahn acquired the estate in 2002, no wine had been bottled there for many years and it was in a sad state of disrepair. Peter diligently began renovating the dilapidated chateau and chai (wine cellar), and earned his oenology certificate while waiting for the existing sharecropping agreements on his land to expire. He regained control in 2007 and undertook the herculean task of revitalizing his poorly-tended vineyards. Peter’s care and patience were rewarded with an excellent first vintage in 2008, which received praise on both sides of the Atlantic for its freshness, balance and complex expression of fruits and minerals.
Peter’s care and patience were rewarded with an excellent first vintage in 2008, which received praise on both sides of the Atlantic for its freshness, balance and complex expression of fruits and minerals.
Peter is a passionate practitioner of “natural” winemaking techniques, using organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyards, managing vine and grape growth manually, picking by hand and, most remarkably, using a meticulously restored decades-old basket press which extracts only “first-run” juice from his grapes. The result of this precision and dedication is wine of the very highest quality, true to its appellation and distinctive in its character, which we expect to become even more profound as he hones his craft over the coming years and his vineyards flourish under his strict organic regime.
Certified organic by Ecocert
Copper sulfate only
Annual ploughing to maintain vineyard health
Trained in Guyot and planted at 6,600 vines/ha, vines average 50 years old
Controlled through severe winter pruning, debudding, and deleafing
Entirely manual in a series of tries with severe selection in the vineyard, usually in mid-October
Entirely estate fruit
Wines ferment spontaneously in 225-l oak barrels (less than 10% new).
Wines see bâtonnage a few times each month following fermentation
Vertical basket press
Blocked by wines’ naturally high acidities
12 months in 225-l oak barrels (less than 10% new)
Wines remain on their fine lees until assemblage prior to bottling
FINING & FILTRATION
Wines are unfined and filtered with diatomaceous earth.
Applied at pressing and at bottling, with c. 62 mg/l total sulfur