Loire / White / Chenin Blanc, Verdelho / Organic, Biodynamic
* Please note that because there is limited stock of this wine it is not subject to any further discount.
This hectare of chenin planted in 1910 was bought in 2000 from Eric Calcutt, an exceptional but ephemeral vigneron-artiste who made unicorn wines, oxidative in style, under the name The Picrate from 1996 to 1999. The vines sit on a plateau of schist that descends gently to the Lys river, a tiny off-shoot of the Layon, and intriguingly, this vineyard also includes 3% of the Portuguese grape variety verdelho. Aged in older oak barrels, it is a dense wine offering a rare vigour and energy, with deeply set fruit and with an incredible texture and persistence.
Notes on the producer
Stéphane Bernaudeau grew up in the Anjou Noir, right next to the Layon, as a child he loved wandering around the river banks contemplating the fauna and flora for hours. After finishing his studies in forestry in the late 80s, he took a cash in hand job at the neighbouring Ferme de la Sansonnière, working for the newly arrived Mark Angéli.Tastings were regularly organised at the farm with pioneers like Jo Pithon,Richard Leroy, Eric Calcutt and René Mosse attending. Stéphane quickly embraced the group’s countercultural approach to wine, and what was meant to be temporary became a full-time job, he worked as Mark's right-hand man for over 10 years.Creating his domaine in 2000, though still helping at La Sansonnière for years, Stéphane followed the same path, producing wines from low-yielding (average 25hh), painstakingly tended bush vines, he insists that there is nothing he loves more than being on his own among his vines, listening, observing and feeling mother nature.
Not convinced by cabernet in the area and being a white wine lover, he simply stopped producing any reds, he currently makes three exceptional dry chenins from 3 ha and has recently bought a couple of plots in Bonnezeaux. Unfortunately, a late spring frost cut his production by three-quarters in 2016 and 2017, for that reason he resorted to buying a mobile wind turbine and strategically used it in 2019 against another severe episode, resulting in 40% loss when sadly other vignerons lost everything.