Guide to the Loire regions

Saint-Pourçain

Grower Profiles


Evelyne Prélot

Robert Prélot
Robert Prélot and his charming wife, Evelyne, live in a lovely old maison Bourbonnais on the road that connects Salucet with Saint-Pourçain. It’s position is not particularly distinguished, being on the floor of the valley and the 50 hectares of land that surrounds the farm has been planted to cereals for as long as anyone can remember. But Robert’s passion for wine led him to re-establish 4.5 hectares of vines in 1987 and open up the cellar doors ready to receive the first harvest in 1990.

Unsurprisingly, the vines are not within sight of the farm, but located in Contigny and on the slopes of Briailles on the opposite bank of the Sioule. Here, Gamay and Pinot Noir are planted in equal proportions and account for 1.6 hectares each, whilst the Chardonnay and Tressallier represents 1.3 hectares and comes from the clay-limestone soils of Louchy-Montfand. Everything is harvested by hand. For the moment, the wines are being made by Evelyne, following a serious cycling accident in 2009 which saw Robert confined to a wheel chair. 

As for the wines, the single white is made from 95% Chardonnay and 5% Tressallier and named Cuvée des Bergerons after the lieu-dit in which the grapes are grown. Of the two reds, the Rouge Tradition is produced from 90% Gamay, whilst the Pinotissime is four-fifths Pinot Noir. There is also a fairly rustic Rosé produced which makes use of a 12 hour maceration. In addition to the four Saint-Pourçain wines above, there are two Vin Mousseux de Qualité which are produced, aged and riddled in the vaulted cellar below the house. The first, Blanc de Blancs, is made from 100% Tessallier, whilst the Rosé de Noirs is solely from Gamay and spends the minimum nine months on its lees before release. An impressive 80% of all the Prélots sales are from the cellar door.

As much as I wanted to like the wines, I found there were some basic faults to contend with, and as a result it is hard to recommend them with any conviction. The most interesting and competent were the two sparkling wines, which is clearly Evelyne’s own baby, but there are clearly better wines being produced in the appellation.

Robert Prélot
Domaine des Bourrats
Les Bourrats
Route de Saulcet
Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule
T/F : + 33 4 70 45 68 64
Robert.prelot@wanadoo.fr
www.domaineprelot.com

 

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