Domaine Ogereau, 2011 Update

After meeting up with both Claude Papin of Château Pierre Bise, and Florent Baumard of Domaine des Baumard earlier this year to taste their latest releases, I was – as you might expect – eager to see what their Anjou counterparts had achieved in the same vintages. Yves Guégniard of Domaine de la Bergerie was high on my Anjou hit list, but first I made my way over to meet Vincent Ogereau, vigneron and tuba-player extraordinaire, who was pouring wines principally from 2009 and 2008, with a single example from 2007 sneaking in at the end.

Vincent started with a new addition to the range, an Anjou Blanc christened En Chenin. Until recently Ogereau produced two white wines under the Anjou appellation, a straight Anjou Blanc which was mostly Chenin Blanc with a percentage of Chardonnay (typically 20%) blended in, as well as an Anjou Blanc Cuvée Prestige which was 100% Chenin Blanc. The former was fermented and aged in steel and bottled early, whereas the latter was handled very differently, with fermentation and élevage in 500-litre casks. That’s all changed now, as Ogereau has decided to focus on Chenin Blanc alone; he says the move is in response to the demands of his customers, who are looking for Chenin and not Chardonnay. So we shall see no more of the blend, nor the Cuvée Prestige, as they have been replaced by one cuvée, that being En Chenin. The fermentation remains in wood, although on tasting this first vintage it was clear that this does not mark the wine at all. The quality is very high, the palate pure and unsullied, the overall style elegant and gently polished. This has been a good move for Vincent (pictured below), I think.

Domaine Ogereau

We then progressed through his other wines, including a Savennières which had much in common with the En Chenin, and then a trio of Anjou and Anjou-Villages cuvées, all 100% Cabernet Franc, wines which showed a lot of fine, perfumed typicity. My favourite was the 2009 Anjou-Villages, although all these wines were cast aside when we moved onto his Cabernet Sauvignon cuvée, the Anjou-Villages Côte de la Houssaye, in the 2008 and 2009 vintages. Alongside his Savennières Clos le Grand Beaupréau and sweet Bonnes Blanches cuvées this is one of Vincent’s preeminent wines. Both vintages were delicious and overtly superior to the Cabernet Franc wines, with the 2009 the more striking wine on the day.

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