Grand Mayne's consultant winemaker, Martin Meinert
What do you get if you cross a South African winemaker with a reviving vineyard on the other side of a prestigious demarcation line in France?
Martin Meinert is a South African winemaker who now consults on
Domaine du Grand Mayne in south west France's Cotes de Duras, an area popular with British holiday-makers.
It was created out of a derelict farmhouse and abandoned fields in 1985 and run on a partial-ownership model; punters would buy a row or two of vines and then take their dividends in the form of finished product.
The winery has waxed and waned in the intervening period, but founder Andrew Gordon is still involved with the running.
Martin's CV includes experience at top Cape wineries and Lafite Rothschild, as well as Chile, California and
Australia, which sets him up perfectly to achieve the winery's vision of making New World style wines in France.
Overall, the wines were technically very well-made with good fruit - as you might expect from Martin's CV. The entry-level wines were priced ambitiously, but this reflects to an extent the high level of fixed cost in a UK bottle of wine.
The reserves were demonstrably superior and given the price-quality ratio, arguably better value.
Reserve Blanc 2015 judiciously oaked with a good blend of oak, ripe fruit and freshness. Substantial, with good underpinnings. Very deft and accomplished.
2015 Merlot Cabernet coffee, cherries , spice and freshness
Reserve Rouge 2015 complex oaking, leather and gaminess; red and dark fruits with spices, freshness and hints of florality.
Moelleux 2012 a blend of S/SB/ChB ripe, roasted peaches, chestnutty beeswax, raisins, spices and cidery acidity. Complex.
They are available via the winery's website: https://www.domaine-du-grand-mayne.com/uk-shop/wine.htm