Loire / White / Chenin Blank / Organic, Biodynamic
Savennières AOC, Loire
* Please note that because there is limited stock of this wine it is not subject to any further discount.
Most of the 30 to 90yo vines are in the lieu-dit L’Éspérance near Rablay-sur-Layon. Thomas prefers stainless steel to accentuate chenin’s natural tension, a judicious choice in the recent hot vintages. This wine ages on fine lees without sulphur until bottling in the summer. Thomas wines are becoming increasingly hard to get hold of so buy whilst you can.
Notes on the producer
Thomas Batardière is a doer and does not stand still – born in 1980 in Angers, he studied anthropology and got bitten by the wine bug in 2008 while working as a cinematographer. Switching career path he worked as a sommelier first but being drawn to winemaking he decided to join Château Yvonne (Saumur, Anjou Blanc). Voluble, passionate and not afraid of a challenge he quickly became Mathieu Vallée’s right-hand man whilst studying viticulture in Beaune.
He finally struck out on his own in Rablay-sur-Layon (Anjou Noir) in 2012, buying a couple of hectares of his beloved chenin but without any equipment or cellar. He built the latter as well as his house right next door to Richard Leroy with whom he has become close. The two exchange a lot, so much so that there are talks about buying and operating a brand-new press together.
Applying biodynamic principles from the get-go, Thomas continued to expand to reach 4ha (currently 3.3ha in production), just enough he believes to be independent and express himself. Most of his vines are south of the Layon river, in Rablay, on sandy and stony soils with clay over schist. Chenin and cabernet franc are grown here as well as grolleau, a grape well-suited to the area. His best parcels of chenin, including the Clos des Cocus planted in 1968, are found up the stunning coteau of Faye d’Anjou (north of the Layon) clinging into the schist bedrock.
Thomas has a very individual take on chenin. He loves its finesse, acidity and ability to reflect terroir, picking it early (ideally with 12.5% alcohol potential and yields at 30 to 40hh), and fermenting as well as ageing in small 'cuves inox' to preserve purity. He aims at making zero-sulphur wines, rarely racking and working reductively on the lees