The Old Fire Station, Old Market, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Domaine Maltaverne, L’Ammonite, Pouilly Fumé

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. The wine remains on its fine lees for 15 months after harvest, intensifying and enriching the flavours to balance the incredible freshness.

The Ammonite Pouilly Fumé has a pronounced aromatic nose of ripe fruit with a flinty edge. The palate is round and rich due to the warm 2020 vintage, with almost tropical notes, underpinned with some of the typical Sauvignon grassy, smokey aromas. A lingering, ripe finish with a hint of sweet fruit completes the picture.

Wines by grape

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We can deliver anywhere in mainland Britain from £11.95 per case.