Sunday, 4 February 2007

A Wine Renaissance in Angers

Our friends Francoise and Phillipe Gourdon at La Tour Grise invited us to an exceptional wine tasting today. We made new friends, discovered new winemakers and tasted some early release 2006 wines (still too young to review).

Held at the Grenier St Jean in Angers the “Renaissance des AOC” are a group of winemakers from all over France that adhere to a chart of quality that controls the method of agriculture. They don’t claim (as a group) to be organic or biodynamic but no pesticides are used, only organic composts, all products used are natural and there is no use of chemicals.

That is only stage one however. To progress to stage two you must also harvest by hand, have a natural fermentation i.e. use no chemicals in the fermentation and manually select future vines and respect the biodiversity. The results are evident in the clarity and natural nature of all the wines we tasted.
I’ll only mention a few of note here that we got excited about:

La Ferme de la Sansonniere – Marc Angeli Anjou

2005 Coteaux de Houet – Wow ! Amber in colour. Partially fermented with the grapes dried out by over maturation i.e no botrytis (raisins passerillage) . Luscious but with a good acidity.

Domaine Jo Pithon – Anjou

Tasted 4 of his 2005 Anjou whites, 2 coteaux du layon and a quart du chaume. All exceptional and definately a vineyard we’ll be spending more time at this year. Especially loved the gravelly minerality of the anjou whites and the marmalade sugar of the sweets. The 2005 Les Bonnes Blanche is to die for.

Chateau de Coulaine – Etienne & Pascale de Bonaventure Chinon

Oh goodness we’ve found a deliciously fruity chinon in the 2005 Cuvee Bonavenutre – black fuits and liquorice and not too high in alcohol at 12.5%

All the Chinon reds we tasted here were exceptional and will definitely be on en-route to Bourgueil.

Sebastien David – St Nicoals de Bourgueil

2005 Vin de Patrimoine – tons of blackcurrant fruit, high in alcohol and great length

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