Domaine de Maltaverne is one of the few producers in the Loire that allows full malolactic fermentation to run its natural course. The owner, Gilles Maudry, is a former biologist who returned to his family's Tracy-sur-Loire estate in 1984 when his father retired. Now working with his son Matthieu, who finished his viticultural and oenological studies in 2015, Gilles is a firm believer in minimal intervention: as long as his vineyards produce healthy grapes, picked at optimum maturity and vinified with care, then the wine can be left to determine its own evolution. The beautiful label features an illustration of the fossilised ammonite shells found in the vineyard, sketched by an artistic wine lover following a tasting to represent what he visualised upon tasting this wonderful wine.
The vineyards are planted on Kimmeridgian soil (fossilised clay-chalk, superb for low yields and mineral content) and face south-southwest, giving increased exposure to the sun. They are fertilised organically. Harvesting is done partly by hand and partly by machine, depending on the vintage.
Vinification is old fashioned and hands off. Fermentation is done by indigenous yeasts and is followed by naturally occurring malolactic fermentation. This helps to soften the wines by converting the harsher acids to more palatable ones. Most unusually for a producer of Loire Sauvignon Blanc, winemaker Gilles Maudry believes in allowing full malolactic fermentation to run its natural course. The wine remains on its fine lees for 15 months after harvest, intensifying and enriching the flavours to balance the incredible freshness.
A honeyed and gently aromatic nose with a savoury, toasted fennel seed note. The palate is a rich and ripe reflection of this warm vintage, balanced by smoky, grassy flavours typical of Sauvignon Blanc.
Goes with just about anything! Traditionally salmon, mussels or crab/lobster and chicken or veal, but also mushroom dishes, particularly an omelette.