Nicolas Paget is one of the most exciting (and excited) new producers we’ve found in years. All of our winemakers care deeply about their craft, but Paget is unusually committed. After 90 minutes of tasting with him, we were running more than an hour late for our next tasting; but when he begged us to join him for a quick visit to his vines, it was impossible to turn him down.
His excitement is well founded. Paget crafts delicious white wines from Chenin Blanc, a grape responsible for the great wines of the central Loire Valley, particularly Vouvray. Paget’s Chenins are much like our favorite Vouvrays, though they come from the less known nearby appellation of Touraine-Azay le Rideau.
Like much Vouvray, Paget’s whites range from very dry to very sweet, with much in between. Our favorite of his cuvées, and the one we suggest today, is his 2017 Chenin “Melodie.”
Melodie is everything we went searching for in the Loire: dry, expressive, organic Chenin Blanc with good balance and all of Chenin’s signature aromatic complexity. We found pear and melon in the nose, with a dose of citrus and white flowers. The mouth is exceptional — lively and complex, with delicate freshness, bright minerality, and notes of dried orchard fruits.
Melodie was in our July Futures issue that closed last week, but we were so excited that we pre-ordered a few cases last month in time for summer enjoyment. Since their arrival a few weeks ago, Melodie has already wowed family gathered on our porch and tasters last weekend at the depot. For dry, exuberant, summery white wine under $20, there may be no better option.
Paget Chenin “Melodie” 2017
bottle price : $19
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