Château de Bonnezeaux
In a very short time Château de Bonnezeaux has become one of the most exciting and sought-after producers in the Loire. Despite a winemaking history that dates to the 19th century, the small Anjou estate was dormant for three decades until Guyonne Saclier de la Batie revived it in 2012. Guyonne relaunched the estate with help from the legendary Mark Angeli (Ferme de la Sansonniere) and had mentors in Stéphane Bernaudeau and Richard Leroy.
Biodynamics were introduced from the beginning, revitalising the previously abandoned vineyards. Grasses are allowed to grow between the vines, yields are kept incredibly low, and grapes are hand harvested. In the cellar minimal intervention winemaking with low levels of sulphur is the practice. Grapes are pressed using vertical Champagne style presses and fermented with native yeasts before ageing for two years in neutral or lightly toasted oak barrels.
Despite the vineyards being in the appellation of Bonnezeaux, an AOC that only allows sweet wines to be produced, the style here is to produce exceptional dry Chenin Blanc from excellent vineyard sites. Hence all the wines are labelled as humble Vin de France.
These are wonderfully concentrated, electric, and textured examples of dry Chenin Blanc that have become “unicorn” wines due to their rarity – we just wish we had more.
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