Chateaumeillant (18 Cher, Centre-Val de Loire) celebrates with its Chateaumeillant wine fair 15-17 April 2017. Close to what is claimed to be the geographic centre of France, and about 35 miles south of Bourges , this is a little-known and seldom seen wine in the UK. Unlike its nearest neighbours in Sancerre, Menetou-Salon, Quincy and Reuilly which major on great Sauvignon blancs, the wines of Chateaumeillant are red and rose, made from Gamay (the Beaujolais grape), Pinot Noir (the Burgundy grape) and Pinot Gris. As such they are dry, light and refreshing.
The appellation is currently a VDQS (Vin Delimite de Qualite Superieure) which is an classification above Vin de Pays, but below Appellation Controllee (AOC). As such it has to come from a defined local area around Chateaumeillant, and there are limits on the grapes used and their proportions, yield etc. Usually VDQS wines are ultimately upgraded to full AOC status, usually with somewhat tougher constraints on yield and production. Certainly Chateaumeillant is distinctively different from other local wines, but I cannot comment on the quality of the wine having never tasted any, nor can I find any UK stockist. Even Yapp Bros, who are Loire specialists do not stock it, which is ominous. So perhaps someone will fancy a quick jaunt out to taste and report back!?
For more info see www.vins-centre-loire.com