Domaine aux Moines, 2020 Update

Rarely has a domaine bounced from an also-ran to leader of the pack in such a short space of time. For years, Domaine aux Moines turned out old-school Savennières which started out young, hard and obstinate but, after ten or fifteen years in bottle, would gradually metamorphose into something old, hard and obstinate. Apart from the sweet wines, of course, which were always delicious. Answer me this though; when was the last time you set eyes on a bottle of moelleux Savennières?

Domaine aux Moines

Perhaps my opening words are a little harsh. I had a few older vintages of Domaine aux Moines tucked away in the cellar (who didn’t?) and the wines did give some pleasure. But they never set off any fireworks. And that remained the case until Tessa Laroche (pictured above) took hold of the reins from her mother Monique. Today the wines are nothing short of electric, each vintage a chimera of Loire variety and terroir spliced with a very modern, minerally and reductive confidence. So good are the wines that they make me think of the wines of Vincent Carême, or Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau, placing them firmly at the head of the Ligérian premier league.

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