La Croix des Loges
Anjou Blanc Sec 2021
100% Chenin Blanc
Anjou Blanc AOC
Sustainable, Terra Vitis certification, HVE 3
Martigné-Briand, Loire, France
Winemakers: Jean-Christian and Sophie Bonnin
Pale or even icy yellow green (Can you tell I’m still in the middle of a heatwave? Embracing anything icy even if in color.) Cool and fresh scents of apricots, peaches, little spring blossoms, wet granite, and mellow pear. Sip and it’s light, easy and not overly well everything. Kind of like butterfly kisses…it just gently wakes your tongue to those apricots again, peaches, pear, some honeydew straight from the cooler, a fresh twinge of citrus/tangerine spark, and a lick of that wet granite again. Just simply beautiful…
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Gives it a kick! I like this one both ways.
The Famille Bonnin have deep roots (ok bad vine pun) to Martigné-Briand, dating back to 1920, and they’ve stayed on the wine track all these years. The current generation has kept up their momentum and passion through traditions, modernizing, and proving their love for their environment with certification & transparency. As it says on Steep Hill Imports’ site, their manifesto is “Life is beautiful!“, and this bottle will melodically remind you by each glass. On a personal note, this was a much needed nudge because I’ve had some crazy things thrown my way lately. Famille Bonnin, thank you for turning my vision back to the simple elegance of finding happiness in the little things in life. ❤️
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Domaine de la Bergerie
La Cerisaie 2019
Champ sur Layon, France
Winemaking Guégniard family: Founded/bought in 1961 by Marie-Scolastique and has passed through the generations
Deep dark goth cherry velvet with a purple shimmer. Swirl and here comes scents of dried and fresh cherry, plums, fresh green bell pepper, olive pit, a bouquet garni of thyme & rosemary, and lilacs as it opens and later expands to a big bouquet of flowers. Nice juicy sipping here of plums, cherries, and here comes that bouquet garni again with coriander added in, a little oil cured black olives, and then here come running some elegant roses and lavender.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: juicy and smooth
Domaine de la Bergerie was purchased in 1961, through an auction known as vente à la bougie, which ok call me ignorant, but I had never heard of that before. Actually it’s a very cool, fair and civilized way of bidding (dating back to the 15th century) timed by the burning of candles. Each are around 30 seconds and the holders/candelabras are pretty cool. When the last candle is out, the auction is over. How exciting that moment must of been when Marie realized the property was now hers! The domaine has continued to be a family driven venture, and they’re in the 8th generation with daughters Anne and Marie. They’ve also brought a chef into the fold too (Anne’s husband David). So when you visit, you can also dine in his Michelin star restaurant, La Table de la Bergerie.
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Le Fief Noir
100% Chenin Blanc
Certified organic and hand-harvested
St-Lambert du Lattay, Loire, France
Winemakers: Alexis Soulas and Dominique Sirot
Golden starlight twinkle twinkle. Pull the cork and breathing buttercream, butterscotch that fades into pineapple, yellow watermelon (yeah each color/one does smell different), lemon and lemon vanilla wafer. Sipping creamy salty lemon, key lime, kumquat, very mellow papaya, light orangey pops, and honey filled pear. I think I’ve had my weekly allotment of fruit! There’s also dried sage in the end and then bring that citrus back round again with a salt shake. So sweet, calm, and clean and bright that is yearning for some yellow fin sushi with jalapeño.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Raises the citrus
Alexis Soulas and Dominique Sirot became friends and hatched their wine plan in Corsica, but Anjou was where they landed. Back in 2012, they tasted the wine of Domaine des Chesnaies, decided this was the exact place for their project to take root, and after a renaming Le Fief Noir was born. Soil is the key and king here. The black schist of L’Anjou Noir is perfect for Chenin Blanc and also is where their name Le Fief Noir stemmed. Their passion for their wines is evident in the bottle and in their writings online. They have a lot to say, check their website. Alexis Soulas says, “A wine is never entirely finished. It belongs to the one who get it. This is this open field to interpretation, this co-creation, which make our job so beautiful.” I love that any of us can become part of their world and the story of their wine.
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Château La Franchaie
Lapin Blanc 2018
Winemaker Eric Dubois
A glassful of the immortal lyric from Spandau Ballet, GOLD! Then take a deep breath of cardamom, salt, lemon, hibiscus, and some earthy freshly picked daisies.
Get ready to follow the white rabbit, if you dare take a sip. There’s pear, tart apple or crab apple, salt, granite, and deep flowers like honeysuckle. Keep on imbibing and it becomes smoky, heady, decadent and a hint of vanilla. I see beautiful dreams heading my way this evening, or it may take another turn and I’ll encounter the infamous vorpal bunny.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: clean and sharp
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