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Although there is great Chenin Blanc produced throughout Anjou as well as on the limestones of Saumur, Chinon, Vouvray and Montlouis, the classic and historic home of Chenin in France continues to be on the schistous soils of Savennières, on the right bank of the Loire southwest of Angers. Domaine Aux Moines, under the skilled leadership of Tessa Laroche, is now perhaps the leading domaine, producing pure, complex and terroir expressive wines from their 12 hectares in the cru vineyards of Savennières-Roche Aux Moines.
Vines were first planted at Roche Aux Moines in 1130 and the vineyards were tended by Cistercian monks until the estate was confiscated as a "bien national" in 1793. Purchased by Monique Laroche in 1981, the estate produced good wines in the style of the times, from conventional farming, until Monique's daughter Tessa began to take control in 2001. Change came rapidly under Tessa with immediate improvements in vinification and the conversion to organic farming beginning in 2006. "Since her arrival Tessa has been improving every detail to be able to make more precise, transparent, complex wines. The results are spectacular and she is now one of the best examples of Roche-aux-Moines, and of course also Savennières." - Pascaline Lepeltier
2022 Berceau des Fées From young vines within the Savennieres-Roche Aux Moines appellation, Tessa Laroche has created a more forward and ready to drink Chenin that still possesses a superb mineral core, firm acidity and the complex fruit one associates with the grand vin. 2022 is a vintage that combines beautiful ripeness with lovely freshness, making this a great option for drinking over the next 5 to 8 years.
1998 Savennieres-Roche aux Moines While quality at Domaine Aux Moines did not reach the highest levels until Tessa began to take over (2001 - 2003), the chance to enjoy a Savennieres-Roche Aux Moines at maturity is quite worth the modest investment. Here the fascinating secondary aromas and flavors are fully developed, with drier, ripe yellow fruits on the palate with earth, stone, smoke and vegetal flavors. There may be some variation here, but a bottle or two or three are definitely recommended!
2018 Savennieres-Roche Aux Moines We've tasted this wine a few times in France and have been very impressed with the structure and acidity in this very ripe vintage. The wine has fabulous purity of fruit and great density with surprising freshness at the end. Sensational now, things willl really get interesting after another five to eight years in the cellar.
2021 Savennieres-Roche Aux Moines 2021 was a vintage of very low yields due to early frost and damp conditions, but late sunshine enabled the remaining grapes to develop well, giving a wine with lower alcohol, very firm acidity and a great mineral presence. This is a good recipe for Chenin Blanc, especially for those of you who appreciate a more vibrant, austere style. "The 2021 from Tessa is very pretty with a dense concentration for the vintage, a lot of energy. Really go for it" says our friend Pascaline
Although there are new estates and young superstars demanding attention - and high prices - in Anjou, the work of Tessa Laroche at this historic domain has brought the wines up to the very highest level. Lovers of great Chenin Blanc should take advantage of the moderate prices and superb quality of Tess'a wines while supplies last...
Today's offer is at low net prices. The wines should be avaliable for pick-up/shipping on Tuesday 6/27.
Domaine aux Moines is operated by Tessa Laroche, organically, and now with biodynamic practices as well, farming under 10 hectares of Chenin Blanc. The vineyards stand next to the famed 'Coulée de Serrant' on South-West facing hillsides of predominately schist soils. Since her arrival Tessa has been improving every detail to be able to make more precise, transparent, complex wines. The results are spectacular and she is now one of the best examples of Roche-aux-Moines, and of course also Savennières. The 2021 Roche aux Moines from Tessa Laroche is a superb Chenin Blanc that features vibrant acidity and minerality, showing elegant aromas of pear and quince with limeflower and citrus, quite complex and pretty. The superb shist terroir of "Roche aux Moines" is fully captured in this wine which has fabulous depth of white fruit with very firm acidity and citrus, anise and stone in the long finish. "The 2021 from Tessa is very pretty with a dense concentration for the vintage, a lot of energy. Really go for it" says our friend Pascaline. Superb as a young wine, the aromas will open and evolve at about ten years, enjoy until 2041. Serve with pike, seabass, turbot, langoustines, scallops and lobster, not to mention risotto with truffles, riz de veau and andouilletes de Lyon au vin blanc...
From young vines within the Savennieres-Roche Aux Moines appellation, Tessa Laroche has created a more forward and ready to drink Chenin that still possesses a superb mineral core, firm acidity and the complex fruit one associates with the grand vin. 2022 is a vintage that combines beautiful ripeness with lovely freshness, making this a great option for drinking over the next 5 to 8 years.
The yield in this vintage was 35 hl/ha, a relief after the frost of 2017. It was vinified half in barrels and half in cuve, and then aged in barrels for two years before assemblage in cuve. It was bottled in May 2020. It has a little evolution on the nose, as underneath the layer of white peach and minerals there are seams of white almond and hazelnut, as well as a little ribbon of white truffle. The palate is very pure, cool and saline, but feels softly textured and visceral, as if the warmth of the vintage has imbued it with a little muscle. The midpalate feels peppery and more energetic though, before it culminates in a wonderfully long and charged finish.