Anjou! The view from Domaines Aux Moines

Pascaline Lepeltier and Chef Diego Moya of Racines NY Present A Tribute to Anjou and Chenin Blanc, Thursday June 6th! We Offer Some of Our Favorite Wines of the Region...

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At the end of June, Angers will be on fire celebrating with 2 fantastic wine events - La Paulée de l'Anjou & the Chenin Blanc International Congress. To support these great initiatives, Pascaline Lepeltier, MS, MOF, and Chef Diego Moya will put together a very special wine dinner full of treasures from the region, Thursday, June 6th at Racines NY, at 7pm. Five courses, seventeen wines, $150 plus tax and gratuity. ** For Reservations, please email info@racinesny.com or call 212-227-3400.

A celebration of the terroirs of Anjou - the dark Schist on the Anjou Noir side, the white Tuffeau on the Anjou Blanc side - La Paulée will gather more than 50 producers, iconic or young guns, all dedicated to organic or biodynamic farming, to showcase their world-class wines. The tasting will happen in the superb vineyard of La Coulée de Serrant in Savennières on Sunday afternoon, June 30th. https://www.pauleedelanjou.com/

On July 1st, 2nd and 3rd the first Chenin Blanc International Congress will take place also in Angers. Gathering Chenin experts and specialists from all around the globe, the congress will offer different masterclasses and vineyard tours to understand the multiple expressions of this unique grape variety. For more information, visit their website here.

Please see the list below for some superb Chenins and reds from Anjou, and as a special tribute to two of our good friends, we stray into Touraine to feature great Chenins from Francois and Manuela Chidaine in Montlouis-sur-Loire, and from Domaine François Pinon in Vouvray. Last week at a seminar on Regenerative Agriculture, Francois Chidaine descibed his techniques to maintain cover crops surrounding his vines, leaving no earth bare - enriching his living soils and fighting global warming by sequestering carbon deep in the soil. We're proud to offer our two favorite dry Chenins from this important estate. We met the Pinon family in 1981 and have been big fans ever since, and we're very happy to see Julien Pinon now working so well alongside his father! Their 2017 Vouvray "Les Déronnières" and 2015 Vouvray Brut Non-Dosé are extraordinary wines, both for current drinking and for cellaring of 20 years or more. We urge you to try them! - David Lillie

Domaine Aux Moines 2016 Savennieres Roche Aux Moines

The 2016 Roche aux Moines from Tessa Laroche is a superb Chenin Blanc showing elegant aromas of pear and quince with limeflower and citrus, quite complex and pretty. The superb shist terroir of "Roche aux Moines" is fully captured in this wine which has fabulous depth of white fruit and mineral flavors with very firm acidity and citrus, anise and stone in the long finish. Wonderful now with a full-flavored fish dish, this wine will cellar beatifully for twenty years and more. David Lillie

  • white
  • 17 in stock
  • $37.99

  • Organic

Closel 2017 Vin de France Chenin Blanc "Belle Dame"

In 2017 Domaine du Closel lost 90% of their fruit to a devastating frost, but were able to purchase organic grapes from an estate on the other side of the Loire, on a great terroir of shale, to make this lovely Chenin. The wine shows ripe quince and pear aromas with floral hints, while the palate is ethereal and quite dry with firm acidity and saline mineral flavors under the subtle fruit. This will pair nicely with oysters and delicate seafood preparations, and should develop well with five to ten years of aging.

  • white
  • 17 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic

Closel (Château des Vaults) 2016 Savennières La Jalousie

2016 is a beautiful vintage for the superb Savennières of Domaine du Closel. La Jalousie shows subtle, complex aromas of citrus peel, pear, almond, stone , lime-flower and honeysuckle which follow through on the perfectly balanced palate.  The fruit is lush and ripe but there is great acidity and minerality as well - the wine is elegant and very delicious in its youth, - serve with fish in sauce, scallops, monkfish, chicken in sauce and mild cheeses. Lovely wine! DL

  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $42.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Closel (Château des Vaults) 2014 Savennières Clos du Papillon

"The Clos du papillon is a small valley at mid slope, beautifully exposed southwest to the light of the Loire. There are schist, rhyolite but also quartz. The topsoil layer is very shallow (60 cm) which provides excellent drainage for rainwater. The vine growing conditions are difficult, forcing it to develop its roots deep in the rock cracks to draw nutrients. The climate in that parcel allows for a level of highly advanced maturity, with grapes that concentrate aromas under the action of botrytis.  The body and the very long finish make the Clos du Papillon a gastronomic wine to accompany lobster, scallops, smoked fish, Turbots, Saint Peter. It is also interesting with delicate white meats such as veal or capon, along with truffles or mushrooms. Classic mountain cheeses like old Salers, or 5 to 6 years old Comté are equally delicious with this great Savennières." -  Domaine du Closel.  2014 is a great vintage for Loire whites, combining excellent ripeness with bright acidity and great balance - the Clos du Papillon shows beautiful aromas of ripe pear and quince with honeysuckle, lime-flower and dried herbs with hints of smoke and earth.  The palate is superb, very ripe and dense with white fruits, citrus, almond and stone with very firm lemony acidity and mineral flavors. The finsih is very long with bitter lemon and saline minerals. Drinking beautifully now, this should age well, peak drinking perhaps 2020 to 2025 and beyond. David Lillie

  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • $58.99

  • Organic

Reau, Nicolas 2017 Anjou "Attention Chenin Mechant"

This is a dry Chenin Blanc from Nicolas Réau, who has 7 hectares in Anjou. There's great density to the wine, and a clean, mineral finish. Vines were planted in 2003 on 3 hectares of clay/limestone terroir. The wine was aged for 6 months in old wood with the lees, and vinified with minimal sulfur. I find this to be a really classic expression of Chenin Blanc, with subtle texture and richness, balanced by crisp acidity. Perfect with a variety of cuisines, and showing nice evolution over several days open.   Eben

  • white
  • 20 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Mosse 2017 Vin de France Le Rouchefer

The Mosse family is making superb natural wines in Anjou, and the 2017 Vin de France Rouchefer is a classic example. From a 1.6 ha parcel of massale selection vines in soils of clay and quartz over schistes, the wine is produced with minimal SO2 (total 20mg/l) and is aged in barrel. The  wine shows beautiful floral aromas of quince, pear, citrus and stone. The palate is full and elegant without being heavy, and the lovely fruit is backed by firm acidity and mineral flavors  - a real Chenin of terroir that will accompany a wide range of seafood and chicken dishes and mild cheeses. Serve cool, but not too cold, over the next ten to fifteen years.  David Lillie

  • white
  • 18 in stock
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Fresche (Domaine du) 2017 Anjou Blanc Moulin de la Roche Evière

Alain and Christine Boré produce delicious organic wines on their estate in Anjou that are sensational values for everyday enjoyment. Their 2017 Anjou Blanc (Chenin) is superb, with lovely aromas of pear and apple, fresh herbs, lime-flower and honey. The palate is round and supple but nicely balanced with firm acidity, showing green apple, dried pear, stone and honeyed citrus and minerals that continue in the long finish. A simply delicious dry Chenin that will accompany seafood, grilled or in sauce, chicken, goat cheeses, etc... DL 

  • white
  • 35 in stock
  • $13.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Mosse, Agnes et Rene 2016 VDF Cabernet Franc

The 2016 Mosse Cabernet Franc comes from 40 year-old vines on schistes soils with clay and gravel. The soils bring a unique mineral character to the Cab Franc and the wine is bone dry with zero residual sugar. Not a fruit bomb, but quite elegant and long with earthy red currant and black raspberry fruit. Enjoy, served slighty cool, over the next ten years with a nice cut of meat...

  • red
  • 6 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Filliatreau 2017 Saumur-Champigny La Grande Vignolle

100% Cabernet Franc. The six-hectare Grande Vignolle lieu-dit sits on a chalk cliff on calcareous clay soils, set back from the Loire River on a high plateau. The vines are 35-40 years old and lie at the northern limit of the Saumur-Champigny appellation. The fruit is hand-harvested, destemmed and fermented with natural yeasts in steel tank, with a maceration of approximately 2 weeks. The wine is aged in steel tank and is bottled unfiltered. Always a juicy and delicious Saumur-Champigny, the 2017 Grande Vignolle shows ripe crushed black raspberry fruit with floral and earthy notes, quite pretty!  The palate is vibrant with firm acidity below lush berry fruits with a refreshing, bright finish. This is a great charcuterie pairing or with grilled chicken and pork and soft cow cheeses - enjoy it now served a bit cool and celaring of five to eight years would be interesting. David Lillie

  • red
  • 21 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Hureau 2014 Saumur-Champigny Cuvée Lisagathe

Certified organic since 2007, the Chateau du Hureau produces this beautiful Cabernet Franc on it's best parcel, "la Corde," from vines planted in 1953 and 1991 in clay soils over the "tuffe" limestone. This 2014 bottling of "Lisagathe"is a reminder for why we love Cabernet Franc from Saumur. The aromas show attractive notes of red cherry, tobacco, dried rose, and blueberries. The palate is supple with deft tannins. Pure flavors of cherry and tobacco spice are lifted by tart red currant and blackberry on the finish. This wine has a long life ahead but is wonderfully complex and elegant in its youth. This paired exceptionally well with fresh pork sausages with herbs, leeks, and asparagus. Amanda Bowman

  • red
  • 5 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic

Chidaine 2017 Montlouis-sur-Loire Les Choisilles

Francois Chidaine has been one of the leading proponents of biodynamic farming in the Loire valley and has had a profound influence on the resurgence of Montlouis. Les Choisilles is vinified dry, from parcels of 30 to 90 year-old vines on clay and silica soils over limestone "tuffeau." The soils are kept covered with beneficial plants growing in the rows and only organic composts are used. Fermentation of Les Choisilles can last up to six months, with wild yeasts, no malo-lactic, aging on the lees in large barrels.  The 2017s at Chidaine are studies in terroir with the young wines showing intense acidity and mineral flavors eclipsing, for now, the elegant white and yellow fruits that coat the palate. Though delicious now,  served with grilled fish, fish and chicken in sauce and shellfish, the Les Choisilles will open nicely over the next ten to fifteen years and should be considered for the cellar. David Lillie

  • white
  • 14 in stock
  • $38.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Chidaine 2017 Montlouis Sur Loire Les Bournais

This is usually our favorite wine from François and Manuela Chidaine, long-time champions of organic and biodynamic farming in the Loire Valley. Named after the soil type "Les Bournais," a unique clay topsoil over limestone (tuffeau blanche) also found across the river in Vouvray and without the silex present in most Montlouis terroirs. The 2017 is a beautiful example of this wine with lovely aromas of lemon confit, kiwi, pear, lime-flower, honey and earth, with subtle hints of crushed raspberry as well. The palate is dense and creamy with chalky ripe pear and citrus fruits with a long, lush finish of stone, white fruits, anise and citrus. (Lush but dry at only 2.3 gr RS/L) This is a beautiful Montlouis that will perfectly accompany lobster,  fish or white meats in sauce, Asian foods and goat cheeses. It's delicious now, and should be very interesting after ten to fifteen years in the cellar.  David Lillie

  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $41.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Fresche (Domaine du) 2016 Anjou Villages (Cabernet Franc)

This is a full-bodied and very delicious Cabernet Franc from our organic friends Alain and Christine Bore at Domaine du Fresche in Anjou. "Red wine for cellaring, powerful and rich" says the back label, and indeed this is a ripe and well-structured Cabernet Franc that is delicious now and will benefit from five to ten years of aging. The wine shows a deep red/black color and aromas of ripe blackberry and strawberry liqueur  with hits of violet, black pepper and citrus. The palate is supple and dense but balanced by bright acidity under the ripe berry fruits. Serve cool with roast chicken, stews and grilled meats and put a few in the cellar for five or ten years. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Pinon 2017 Vouvray Les Déronnières

The grapes for this new cuvée from Francois Pinon used to be included in the Silex Noir, but this wonderful vineyard, the Pinon's best parcel on a hill-top directly above their cellar, much deserves to be bottled on its own.  The soil is clay over Turonian limestone, and the beautiful exposure gives ripe fruit that is normally vinified as a demi-sec. In 2017 the potential alcohol was not too high, so the Pinons vinified it as a dry wine, with  5.6 grams rs/liter. The wine shows elegant aromas of lime-flower, dried pear, lemon zest and stones. The palate is very saline and mineral with round white fruits, citrus and herbal notes with impressive density and length. A great dry Vouvray with fantastic minerality that will age beautifully!  Normally thought of as a fish wine, the flavors and texture of this wine will make it pair beautifully with poultry and white meats as well.  Highly recommended.  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic

Pinon, François 2015 Vouvray Brut Non-Dosé

François and Julien Pinon make some of the finest sparkling wines in the Loire Valley. The superb Brut Non-Dosé comes from 45 year-old Chenin Blanc vines on Turonien limestone with topsoils of clay with silex. The fermentation lasts 4 to 6 weeks without added yeast or sugar. 2015 is a beautiful year for this wine as the good weight and density of the vintage are balanced by firm acidity, contributing to the elegance and structure of this cuvée. The wine shows aromas of citrus peel, pear, green apple brioche, fines herbes, white flowers and stone, really quite elegant. The palate is creamy and dense, with pear, parsnip(?), stone, anise, mineral, herbal and bitter lemon flavors on the palate. (Sorry for the overwrought description, but the wine is extraodinary!) The mousse is fine and refreshing and there is fabulous length of white fruits and stone flavors lingering in the finish. This very young wine is superb now but is a great candidate for extended aging - for twenty years or more - a few years ago we tasted a 1976  Pinon Brut that was sensational!  This is very highy recommended! David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur