Vineyard: Historic property of 145 hectares, of which only 10% is from the Coteaux du Layon appellation.
Soil: Schist, limestone and chalk
Viticulture: Coteaux du Layon rarely gets much botrytis, and consequently many of the sweeter-styled chenin blancs are a result of the grapes dehydrating on the vine, rather than being concentrated by noble rot.
Vinification: Fermentation in stainless steel tank
Aging: Ages for 6-8 months before being bottles. Wine is held for at least a decade before being released.
Notes: Notes of biscuit, corn and wheat on the nose, followed by savory notes of fennel and cut grass. Minerally and soil-driven on the palate with a long and vibrant finish.
Publication: View from the Cellar – John Gilman
The 1981 vintage is one of those surprises that the domaine finds on occasion when they allow a decade to elapse before making decision on whether or not to release a wine under their label, as this was not a great year out of the blocks, but the wine aged very nicely over its first ten years and eventually merited a release from the domaine. Today, the wine is fully mature and very nice, offering up scents of quince jelly, orange rind, a touch of nuttiness, barley sugar and lovely soil tones. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and quite snappy, with fine midpalate depth, lovely complexity and a long, balanced and classy finish. It does not quite possess the same dimension at the 1985, but it is not far off that wine in quality and is a very good value in the market. I should note that the last bottle of the 1981 I had a couple of years ago showed even better, so perhaps our bottle was not in fine form. 2015-2040. - Jon Gilman