Domaine Aux Moines - Savennieres Roche aux Moines, Loire Valley, France (2018)
Knock out Chenin Blanc from mother-daughter duo Monique and Tessa Laroche. This wine speaks strongly to a sense of place. The grapes come from a sunlight vineyard close to the Loire river grown on schist and sandstone soils, giving pure, concentrated fruit tempered by brilliant acidity. Floral on the nose with honeysuckle and acacia, the palate highlights the wines elegant development with silky texture, layered fruit and a subtle nutty complexity.
The estate was founded in 1981 by Madame Monique Laroche and now run by her daughter Tessa Laroche. It comprises 12 hectares of Chenin Blanc planted on south and southwest facing hillsides next to the famed Coulee de Serrant in the Savennières sub-appellation of "Roche Aux Moines". Savennieres is on the Western edge of the Anjou region in the Loire valley, and the vineyards sit on hillsides overlooking the Loire river. The proximity to the river helps to temper the cold of the region and protect against springtime frosts.
The soils in Savennières are predominantly schists with some sandstone and clay. They tend to produce a flinty, drier style Chenin Blanc that can age for a long time. Both mother and daughter have always taken a natural approach in their vineyard work and cellar practices earning organic certification in 2011. Tessa Laroche has established Domaine Aux Moines as one of the most exciting organic Chenin Blanc estates in the region. Wines drink well young, but can easily age for 20+ years.