Thomas Batardière is one of the new rising stars in Anjou, and it's an absolute honour to have his wines in my portfolio. He makes pristine Chenin in a reductive style that will make you salivate, and a small amount of Grolleau and Cabernet Franc that are also extremely bright, lively, juicy and delicious. With so much International demand, his wines sell out instantly every year. We're very lucky to have a small allocation of them in Australia.
Thomas discovered his passion for natural wines while working with a caviste in Amboise. He went onto earn a sommelier degree, which included partaking in an internship at Château Yvonne in Saumur. It was here that he learnt about biodynamic farming, and ended up working for them full time, while also obtaining his viticulture degree in parallel.
In 2011 he sourced 1.5ha of Chenin in Rablay-sur-Layon. He immediately took about converting the vineyards to biodynamics, and finally obtained certification from Demeter in 2015. He has since obtained a small plot of Cabernet Franc and Grolleau in Rablay, as well as a tiny plot of Chenin in Faye d’Anjou. More recently he also planted a tiny parcel of Grolleau right next to his house. The total surface area is only 4ha, enough for Thomas to manage by himself, thoroughly and consciously. For the most part, the vineyards are sandy and stony, with clay over schist. The Montbenault parcel (0.25ha) is also very heavy in volcanic rock.
He vinifies naturally, and uses only tiny amounts of SO2 before bottling, sometimes none at all. The wines are never fined or filtered either. He works mainly with stainless steel and in a reductive manner, to ensure that the purity and freshness of his wines is preserved. He is aiming to make wines that are light and crisp, rather than big and round. Working in tank has proven to be highly beneficial, especially in warmer years. His next door neighbour and mentor is Richard Leroy, and so that should give you an indication to the quality of Thomas' wines.