Truly exciting wines from one of the Loire's rising stars
2019 Anjour Blanc, Le Raguenet - £145 per 6 in bond
2019 Crémant de Loire, Zeitlos - £225 per 6 in bond
I do not think that we have ever offered a Crémant nor a dry 100% Chenin from the Loire. Perhaps it is down to the fact that, whilst there are a raft of good examples which largely find their way onto restaurant lists, it takes a bit of digging to find something that is truly distinctive and impressive. I am happy to say that we have come across one such producer – enter Liv Vincendeau, who founded her Domaine Vincendeau in the Rochefort-sur-Loire village in Anjou back in 2013. She is quickly making a name for herself amongst fellow vignerons as one of the most exciting producers, particularly of sparkling wines, in the region.
It was a pleasure to meet and taste with Liv Vincendeau – she is so clearly passionate about her craft and her wines and is incredibly charming and friendly to boot. Liv hails from Germany, where she grew up before coming to the UK to study Chemistry in York. It was whilst living in the UK that she developed an interest in wine, and subsequently moved to Anjou in 2000 to study viticulture and oenology. Having bought a property in Rochefort-sur-Loire in 2013, she began to buy up small plots of vines, converting them all to organic farming in the process. The majority of her vineyards are planted to Chenin Blanc, with vines of 10-80 years of age, alongside small parcels of Cabernet Franc, Gamay and Grolleau, and she is planting some Pinot Noir this year as well, which will go into a ‘Blanc de Noirs’ style Crémant. The terroir at Domaine Vincendeau is rather individual – most Chenin Blanc in Anjou is planted on chalky, limestone-rich soils. By comparison, the soils at Domaine Vincendeau are very stony, comprised of volcanic slate, schist and quartz. These poor soils reduce yields and intensify concentration, as well as imparting a certain minerality to the wines.
I tasted a range of wines from Domaine Vincendeau; all were incredibly impressive. You sense when tasting these wines that they have been crafted by incredibly skilled hands and with meticulous attention to detail – so elegant, there is a real clarity that allows the distinctive terroir to shine through, and a surprising depth to the wines. The two wines I am focusing on for this offer are the 2019 Zeitlos – the flagship Crémant, and the dry Anjou Blanc ‘Le Raguenet’ 2019, both of which are 100% Chenin Blanc.
No critics have yet tasted or scored these wines. They are firmly under the radar it seems…hardly surprising perhaps given that the domaine is fairly young and production is tiny – they make 8 wines, and total production is only 20,000 bottles, half of which is made up of their entry level Crémant ‘Gold’. I came away from this tasting truly excited by the wines; characterful, complex, long and with a crystalline clarity – they tick all the boxes for me. Please see below for my notes:
2019 Anjou Blanc, Le Raguenet, Domaine Vincendeau
£145 per 6 bottle case in bond
100% Chenin Blanc from a blend of old and young vines, grapes are hand harvested and vinified in stainless steel.
Notes of green apple, lemon pith and poached pears are coaxed out of the glass on the nose. With air, the palate opens up to display a wealth of inviting fruit; ripe greengage, lemon peel and pear. The characteristic purity of the Vincendeau wines shines through, there is a sense of tension and a marked mineral vein running through the palate, though there is an underlying richness and suppleness in texture, almost a waxy note. The overriding impression though is one of elegance and poise. Wonderfully harmonious and very appealing. Drink 2023-2027.
2019 Crémant de Loire, Zeitlos, Domaine Vincendeau
£225 per 6 bottle case in bond
100% Chenin Blanc with an average vine age of 40 years. 2,000 bottles produced annually. Zero dosage, the wine is disgorged after minimum 3 years on the lees.
The nose is really expressive – notes of lemon oil, grilled pineapple, baked apple and patisserie. The palate is electrifying, so much energy and a subtle but distinctive smokiness. Notes of ginger and sweet spice accompany flavours of ripe lemon and quince on the palate. Incredible purity and an enlivening bead of acidity carry the inherent richness of the Zeitlos to a long, mouth-watering, mineral-infused finish. So characterful, elegant and enjoyable. Drink 2024-2030.
Please let us know of your interest.
All the best,