2018 VDF 'L’Esprit Libre'
100% Chenin Blanc from 3 plots planted in 2003, from a lieu-dit called L’Espérance. He also uses some grapes from La Croix Hardie harvested after those for the pét-nat. The soils here are similar to that of La Croix Hardie, just not as deep. This wine spent one year in stainless steel tank and was handled in a very reductive manner. Zero SO2.
Schist on the nose. Big essence of minerality and smokiness. Gently reductive, you know it’s going to be good. There is hardly any fruit on the nose initially, just minerals. Clean, pure and steely. In the background are sweet lemons, apples, limes and a flinty aspect. And then to taste - super clean, mineral, and has a gentle texture. Lemons, honey, white flowers, apples, and no oxidation. It’s fresh, I wouldn’t say super crisp – it’s approachable, especially for everyday customers. Very supple on the palate. Delicious, especially after some time in the glass. So well made, very well balanced. It is quite giving on the palate, yet remains fresh. The acidity is about medium plus, and representative of the vintage. The mineral schistiness lingers for quite some time, becoming almost peppery/spicy. Nice ice block sensation. Very clean, long and flavourful. Lemon and honey acidity drifts - never sweet though, just long and deep. Such an ideal wine for Spring and Summer. Quite puckering and taught too, but at the same time giving. Great balance for 2018, one of the best Chenins I have tried from the vintage.