CHÂTEAU DE LA RAGOTIERE – Vallet
Bought by the Couillaud family in 1973, Château de la Ragotière is widely respected for making classic and consistently high-quality Muscadet wines. Domaine de la Morinière is from their second parcels of vineyards and offers a stylish Muscadet with a more approachable fruit profile. The domain also produces inspiring IGP Chardonnay and Gros Manseng based wines.
Pierre-Marie took over his parents domain back in 2005 and Marie, his wife, joined in 2008. Both were keen on following in the footsteps of what Pierre-Marie parents achieved in reestablishing Muscadet as a place where great wines can be produced. Bit by bit – rock by rock – they are refining the way they work through a blend of passion, mutual respect, wisdom, curiosity and innovation. They craft wines that express the diverse terroirs of Muscadet.« L » d’Or, from vines planted on granite and gneiss is the domaine’s flagship wine. In 2001 they started their Goulaine Cru Comunal adventure with Excelsior. The wine comes from a parcel of vines – Clos des Noëlles, planted in 1945. Excelsior develops over 36 months on its fine lees in underground vats. La Butte de la Roche is an exceptional site in the Pays Nantais. 2008 was the first vintage from this rocky vineyard, where one slope faces the rising sun and the other setting sun. Cru Communal Goulaine ula-Ana was born on the top of the « Butte de la Roche ». *Gula-Ana, mix of Gallic and Latin words, GULA meaning throat, gully in Latin and ANA being a marsh in Gallic. The global meaning of the name is thus “overflow of the marsh”.The los des Allées is the closest parcel to the winery and the birthplace of the Luneau family. It is filled with history: a 2.30- hectare plot enclosed by paths. At the end of the 18th century it was the border for three Seigneuries (noble estates) and is the origin of the village of Landreau. Les Pierres Blanches » belongs to the Papin family, vignerons in the commune of Chapelle-Heulin. A terroir of gneiss. La Grange » Vieilles vignes is a real classic: a Muscadet from a number of small parcels of schist around Le Landreau. Undisputedly great value!Pueri Solis » (child of the sun) is a top-quality wine, first made in 2005 – Pueri Solis celebrates the return of Pierre-Marie to the family estate. 42 months maturing on its fine lees before bottling and only produced in exceptional vintages. Made again in 2009, where it spent 32 months maturing on its lees.
This domain of 11 ha practices agro forestry which preserve biodiversity and offer natural living conditions to flora and wildlife.
The wines are completely natural: no oenogical product,no chaptalization, no fining, no filtering on reds (a light one on whites), and very little volcanic sulphite when bottling. Philippe and Catherine Delesvaux are considered among the Loire’s elite Chenin Blanc producers since they established their domain in the early 1980’s.
DOMAINE DE LA PALEINE – Saumur
Laurence & Marc Vincent keen lover of the Loire founded this domain with a wish to express the variety of the Saumur terroirs. The domain is from the 2018 vintage biodynamic certified and proudly mature in their Tuffeau underground cellars new and older vintages.
DOMAINE DU VAL BRUN – Parnay
Eric Charruau is not one looking the spotlight yet his wines deserve a better recognition. A shame some would say when one knows that part of Eric’s production is sold to better established domains which gain the press appraisal. Eric makes genuinely appealing Cabernet Franc wines. His red scream of fresh crunchy berry fruits, without the rusticity and green notes often associated with Cabernet Franc grown in the region. This is a family domain whose origins as wine growers date back to 1722.
DOMAINE FABIEN DUVEAU – Saumur
Fabien Duveau established in Chacé for eight generations, is a winemaker from father to son. Its 20hectare farm is based in the heart of the Saumur Champigny appellation. Currently being converted to organic farming, it was from the start of his activity that Fabien wanted to work the land as before, to promote the tradition by taking back the old tools of his grandfather.
Combining tradition and terroirs, he produces wines that are both traditional and atypical.
Benoit Amirault represents the 4th generation. Yet his father Yannick is still very much involved in the running of the domain and making of the wines. The reputation of the domain is well established as the wines have garnered great acclaim over the years with the Cabernet Franc being full of typicity without the rusticity often associated with that varietal. The domain spreads over 19 ha but is very fragmented enabling for the making of different cuvées to express the variety of terroir. La Source; mainly on sandy based soil with a more precocious fruit profile and still plenty of intensity. La Mine; gravel soils giving wines of balance with this inspiring graphite touch. La Coudraye; classic Bourgueil from a combination of different lieux-dits. Le Grand Clos, historically classified as a Cru. Beautifully harmonious and complete. Les Quartiers; a very calcareous soil that translates into a wine with great purity. La Petite Cave; a tiny holding of no more than 1,5ha with 50 years old vines producing a wine of long aging capacity. Les Malgagnes; the emblematic wine most demanding in its making but never disappoints. All the wines are certified Organic and the domain applies biodynamic principles without relying on one specific school of thought.
DOMAINE AURELIEN REVILLOT – Bourgueil
A mere 2,3 ha domain that is produing refined fine wines under the expert hands of young Aurélien Revillot. A native from Burgundy though not from a winemaking family, Aurélien Revillot developed a passion for vinegrowing and winemaking and went onto studying in Dijon before acquiring experiences in France in as great domain at DRC but also internationally in South Africa and Oregon with Domaine Drouhin. He returned to France 2009 and decided to settle with his family in the Loire Valley. He worked for a few years at a known domaine in Bourgueil before deciding to fully dedicate his time and energies to his own domain. His Bourgueil sur Les Hauts range from 30 to 50 year old vines on mid-slopes with clay-limestone based soils. His St Nicolas de Bourgueil Le Clos is a tiny 0,90 ha planted in 1990 on limestone covered by gravels whilst his Bourgueil Les Aubuis vines (0,60 ha) planted in the 1980’s is found on a terraced slope with complex white and yellow limestone mixed with clay. Finally, his Grand Mont which is not produced every year is from a cool site of clay-limestone soils on the plateau of Benais.
The different parcels are all certified organic and worked according to biodynamic principles with Aurélien using specific preparations to work his land. Aurélien wines are very fine, textural and have become the darling of sommeliers and connoisseurs. The only problem being… availability is limited!
DOMAINE ANDRE NEVEU – Chavignol
This 13,5 ha family domain is run by Valérie Neveu and her husband Thomas Dezat which they took over from her father back in 1997. Valérie represents the third generation and with her husband she has helped express the best of their beautifully located vineyards right in the heart of the appelation. They hold 1,5 ha of pure Chavignol calcareous based soil producing the Longue Fins ; a textbook Chavignol wine with a persistent and dynamic minerality. They feel privileged with their 90 acres of vines on the reputed Les Monts Damnés hills. Here vines produce a wine for the long haul who see no heavy winemaking to reflect the pure quality of the terroir.
Le Manoir Vieilles Vignes is a wine from 60 years old vines planted in Chavignol and Verdigny.
The domain red Sancerre offering includes an unoaked Grand Fricambault and the more aspirational Le Manoir Vieilles Vignes which has been matured in oak for a few months.
The Cherrier family has been growing grapes since 1848 and making wines since 1927; The domain nowadays is run by brothers Francois and Jean-Marie Cherrier. Working with great knowledge and regard of their environment, they make very typical wines of their appellation that combines the quality of Sancerre’s different terroirs; silex, terres blanches and caillotes (chalk-clay).
Those sophisticated Sancerre wines offer a tauter expression of the Sauvignon grape. Made by father and son Jean-Marc and Mathieu. The wines best reveal themselves alongside food. The Chêne Marchand is a tiny production from one of Sancerre’s revered site.
DOMAINE DE BELLEVUE – Chemery
Raphael Midoir represents the 5th generation of this family owned domaine of 27ha in the heart of the region. He produces Sauvignon Blanc wines with classic varietal profile whether under the AOP Touraine, Menetou Salon, Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé. With vines aged between 5 to 35 years, the work in the vineyard is made scrupulously to optimise ripeness whilst retaining an adequate fruit and structure balance so important in the region.