It can be difficult to know what to expect with any one wine, or any one domaine, in Anjou. We all know what Vouvray stands for, even if one or two domaines seem intent on confusing us with cuvées that are dry one year, but brimming with residual sugar the next. We also think we probably have an idea as to what Chinon is all about, even though we should also accept there are many different types of Chinon, from wines of fruit-driven purity for drinking now, through to those that focus more on tannic build and concentration and which are destined for the cellar. Accepting these fundamental variations, there is still a basic tenet for each of these appellations, even it is just variety, or the colour of the wine.
But what of Anjou? The wines from this appellation can be any colour, any style, and pretty much any level of sweetness. And in the minds of French consumers who can remember the Anjou of old, sweetened and sulphur-rich headaches in a bottle, the appellation does not have a great reputation.
One vigneron who knows all this only too well is René Mosse. An outsider who landed in the region at the very end of the 1990s, René’s arrival can be half attributed to chance, and half to his financial position. Despite the serendipitous path he has travelled in order to arrive here he has carved out a very fine reputation for himself, working organically from the outset, and turning out a handsome array of dry wines focusing on Chenin Blanc, with a sprinkling of other colours and varieties. This profile documents what I know of René Mosse and his family, their domaine and their wines.
The driving forces behind this domaine are Agnès (pictured above) and René Mosse, neither of whom were born into wine. René had worked a variety of jobs, but by the 1990s he and Agnès found themselves running a popular wine bar in Tours. Naturally they soon got to know many of the local vignerons, some of whom supplied the wine, while others were perhaps better known through their ability to prop up the bar. Their new friends included some influential figures, such as Jo Pithon and François Chidaine. After a while René also branched out into catering, and his relationship with the world of wine grew stronger, as he soon found himself catering for many local wine domaines, putting on wine dinners and harvest lunches.