Wine By Candlelight

Domaine de la Bergerie
La Cerisaie 2019
Anjou Rouge
AB certified
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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It’s All About the Schist

Le Fief Noir
Ouest Coast
Anjou 2017
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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Following the White Rabbit

Château La Franchaie
Lapin Blanc 2018
Winemaker Eric Dubois
Anjou France
Chenin blanc

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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