Domaine de Bablut, 2013 Update

Domaine de Bablut is typical of many domaines around Anjou. First, there is an interesting array of wines waiting to be discovered here. They are not, admittedly, from the most famous terroirs; for example the dry whites are Anjou Blanc not Savennières, the sweet whites are from the Coteaux de l’Aubance appellation rather than the better-known Coteaux du Layon, or the even more famous Quarts de Chaume. Those in the know are aware this isn’t really that important, as quality in the Aubance appellation can easily match that of the Layon, in the right hands, and Anjou Blanc can sometimes beat Savennières hands-down. Nevertheless, if trying to develop a international market for your wines, having only ‘lesser’ appellations can be a hindrance I think.

Second, the domaine is run on very committed, environmentally-sound lines. Despite the constant excuses from vignerons further south about the difficulties in converting to organic or biodynamic viticulture, Christophe Daviau has trail-blazed these practices in the Loire Valley, having begun the process twenty years ago. His first experiments with biodynamics were in 1993, and he subsequently converted the whole domaine in three stages, moving first to 40% biodynamic, then 80%, before finally turning the whole domaine over to this methodology. This was a brave move for the young proprietor of a domaine which has been in the family since the 16th century, but it reflects Christophe’s forward-thinking and dynamic approach. He is no insular yokel prepared to do as his forebears did; Christophe studied at the University of Bordeaux, then gained some valuable experience in Australia before returning to his native Anjou. Nothing unusual today, but twenty years ago this was not common behaviour.

Domaine de Bablut

And yet, despite ticking all the right boxes, including good quality in the wines and a sound viticultural philosophy, Domaine de Bablut remains largely under the radar. Even among Loire geeks, those as familiar with the wines of Huet, Joly and Papin as a Bordeaux drinker is with Chevalier, Gloria and Canon, I suspect Domaine de Bablut is something of an unknown. This, in my opinion, is a shame, because every time I come to taste the wines I find they far exceed my expectations. There is indeed good quality here, wines with concentration and depth, in red and white. So I was pleased to be able to make a fresh assessment of some recent releases, tasted with Christophe (pictured above, in sombre mood!), earlier this year.

Please log in to continue reading:

Subscribe Here / Lost Password