Domaine de Juchepie, 2022 Update

Anjou is a region rich in cult names, a number of which are now so highly sought after I am not sure I can even afford to write their names, never mind pull the cork on one of their bottles. And yet, alongside these famous names, there are any number of vignerons – some of whom I have been eagerly following for years – who produce wines of comparable interest and quality, and yet who remain resolutely under the radar for the majority of wine drinkers.

One such figure is Eddy Oosterlinck (on the right, below), a Belgian by birth, who during the 1980s felt the tug of Anjou’s vines and wines on his heartstrings. He dipped a toe in the water with the purchase of a few rows, less than a hectare. A few years later, he bought a couple more. By 1994 he had several hectares, at which point he switched to organic viticulture. By 2001 he was so busy with his vines that he gave up commuting between Belgium and Faye-d’Anjou and, leaving behind a successful business in Belgium, he settled at Domaine de Juchepie, on the banks of the Layon.

Domaine de Juchepie

I think it is safe to say he has never looked back.

Today many people are drawn to Eddy for his sweet wines, which tend to have a very rich, heady and toasted style, veering a little towards the oxidative. More Bollinger than Taittinger, if you see what I mean. I have met him many times at professional tastings, and I am consistently impressed by his fabulous array of moelleux and liquoreux cuvées, all decanted ready for tasting, in their various robes of gold and bronze. That’s if I can make it through to his table of course; leave it too late in the day, when the desire for something sweet kicks in, and he quickly disappears behind a scrum of thirsty tasters.

Eddy does much more than make fabulous sweet wines though; he also has a portfolio of dry cuvées, mostly Chenin Blanc, wines which should not be overlooked. I always enjoy paying Eddy a visit so I can savour these seriously under-rated dry white cuvées, while Eddy watches on, twiddling his similarly under-rated moustache.

On this occasion I met up with Eddy and his son Mathieu (on the left, above) in Paris, and took advantage of the opportunity to taste some of his most recent releases.

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