Domaine de Bablut, 2015 Update

I recently overhauled my profile of Domaine de Bablut, and so it was a great pleasure to meet up with proprietor Christophe Daviau in Anjou recently to revisit his interesting portfolio of wines, and to check my opinions held true. Christophe tends to maintain a relatively low profile compared to some of the Anjou superstars such as Richard Leroy and Mark Angeli, and yet he works in a similarly fastidious manner. When he took over from his father in the mid-1990s he was quick to convert the entire domaine to organic viticulture, and more recently he has taken the next step, into biodynamics. The winemaking is precise, and so are the wines themselves. What makes the domaine doubly interesting is the fact the vineyards straddle the boundary between the ‘white’ Anjou, the limestone of the Bassin Parisien, and the ‘black’ Anjou, the schist and other volcanic rocks of the Massif Armoricain. This has an impact on the varieties planted, and therefore also on the style and range of wines presented.

Domaine de Bablut

The Wines

I started with an IGP Sauvignon Blanc a note on which I have already published in my Anjou 2014 report, so here I will move straight to Chenin Blanc. The 2012 Petit Princé, from the plateau of the same name, is a tense, steel-fermented cuvée which offers a fine, breezy and minerally character. In this vintage it works very well. The 2009 Ordovicien, however, has seen out oak ageing, with bâtonnage, and of course it has the advantage of a couple more years in bottle. It therefore has a completely different style, rich, full of exotic fruit, and still showing plenty of oaky grip. To my surprise Christophe says that the terroir here tends to give the wine a lot of structure, and he uses the oak to “calm it down”. To my palate what the oak does is impart even more structure, and I think it will need a few years more in the cellar before it approaches its drinking window. All the same I like it, a little more so than I did when I first tasted this a few years ago, but it is really a matter of horses for course. The Ordovicien is a wine that would drink well with richer dishes, with richer sauces, while the Petit Princé would work better with fish and shellfish of all persuasions.

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