Château de Fosse Sèche, 2016 Update

Although not a high profile estate in the Saumur appellation, Château de Fosse Sèche is a popular domaine with many. It has a long history, the name derived from Fossa Sicca, an extensive estate run by the Benedictines which originated in the 11th century. The modern-day revitalisation of their vineyards did not come until the mid-1990s though, with the arrival of Guillaume and Adrien Pire. They started off organic, but more recently turned the entire domaine over to biodynamics.

My own first encounters with the wines of this domaine were not prodigious. The 2010 Eolithe, a Cabernet Franc-dominated cuvée fermented in cement, with élevage in same, left me scratching my head. I shared it with a colleague in a restaurant in Angers, and it was distinctly vegetal. I hoped that it was merely an off bottle, or perhaps an off day for my palate, but on retasting it from a fresh bottle the next day, in the company of Guillaume Pire himself, it showed just the same. A 2011 Arcane, 100% Chenin Blanc, was rather soft and grassy, but perhaps a touch more interesting.

Château de Fosse Sèche

I am nothing if not determined though, and I recently returned to taste again with Guillaume and Adrien (the latter pictured above). Different cuvées and different vintages this time, and happily for all involved the results were also a little different.

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