Domaine de la Bergerie, 2015 Update

Whereas most regions of the Loire Valley have their iconic appellations with very strong identities – Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé in the Central Vineyards, Vouvray and Chinon in Touraine, Muscadet in, well, Muscadet-land, and so on – Anjou does not. Alright, there is Savennières of course, a prestigious appellation with fascinating topography and geology (and more than one or two tip-top wines as well), but that is an Anjou outpost, on the ‘wrong’ side of the river. In the huge expanse of vineyards to be found south of the Loire such iconic names are absent. I adore Quarts de Chaume, another contender for regional icon, but for most people, it being a sweet wine of very limited production, this is surely something of a niche interest.

Domaine de la Bergerie

Despite this, in the years I have been visiting and writing about the Loire Valley, I have come to love Anjou. Not just its soft, rolling, pastoral landscape, and not only the people I have met here, but also its broad diversity of wines. There is Anjou Blanc to rival some of the very best wines from over the river in Savennières, there is Crémant de Loire in abundance, and of course the aforementioned sweet wines, not just Quarts de Chaume but also Coteaux du Layon, Coteaux de l’Aubance and the ever-elusive Bonnezeaux. I have even come to appreciate Anjou Rouge, Anjou-Villages and Anjou-Villages Brissac, in the right circumstances. Whether they be Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon (both can be remarkably successful), when crafted by the hands of a skilful vigneron these wines have a lot to offer. Rather like Burgundy, it is knowing which winemakers and which domaines do a good job that matters most. The vintage certainly helps though, and we have had a good number to choose from in recent years. Both the 2009 and 2010 vintages were tip-top, but so was 2011 (perhaps more so than 2010 – it would be fascinating to taste the two side by side). I have also had some really nice 2008s here and there. And although 2012 and 2013 were more difficult, 2014 will have something for us I think.

Please log in to continue reading:

Subscribe Here / Lost Password