2020 VDF 'La Roche de Mûrs'

La Grange aux Belles

Regular price $95 750ml Sale

La Roche de Mûrs is a rocky promontory that runs alongside the Louet river (an arm of the Loire), bordering the commune of Mûrs-Erigné. There was a significant battle during the Vendée war in 1793, where 600 rebellious Republicans perished. A monument (that you can see on the label of the wine) was installed in 1889 in time to commemorate the 100th anniversary. More recently, La Roche de Mûrs was classed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Marc had read that the site used to have vines around 50 years ago. He knew there was incredible potential here to grow phenomenal Chenin here, thanks to the aspect, climate, and blue and black schist that dominates the earth. After long discussions over several years with the local council and mayor, he was finally given permission to lease part of the site, on a gentle slope. This was in 2011, and it took almost two years to clear away all the rocks and shrub that had been left untamed for so long. In 2013 they proceeded to plant 2ha of sélection massale Chenin which they obtained from some of the best growers in the area. The first grapes arrived in 2016, allowing them to produce just 100 magnums for themselves and friends. But even for the first vintage, the wine was a showstopper, giving exciting promise for the future. Marc's dream had come true, and he is now confident that they will be able to produce some of the best Chenin in the world from this site in years to come.

The grapes are carefully picked and sorted by hand. Direct press, then aged in their underground cellar in used 600L Stockinger barrels. The wine rests on fine lees for one year. 10ppm SO2 before bottling. Not fined or filtered.

Wow, what a wine! This is the best vintage yet, with 2020 providing perfect growing conditions. The wine has an appealing reduction on opening, subtle and inviting. Compared to Fragile, this is more refined and restrained, less flamboyant if you like. There are notes of lime, freshly sliced apples, honeydew, peach and white flowers. When you taste there is an extreme sense of purity. Everything is in perfect balance, and the acidity and drive lingers forever. Very clean on the palate, with a fine texture and linear delivery. The complex array of flavours of lime, honeydew melon, apple, lemon and salt gently caress the palate. The flavours and acidity intermingle and the length is extraordinary. The tension on the finish screams schist. A friend and sommelier guessed this blind as Anjou Chenin, noting that it was of similar quality to the best bottles from Richard Leroy or Stéphane Bernadeau. When I revealed the wine, he was stunned, and had never even heard of La Grange aux Belles. A classy wine to savour, and beautiful to witness on day two.

Loire Valley
Chenin Blanc
2020 VDF 'La Roche de Mûrs'