Domaine Ogereau, 2014 Update

I wrote recently of the Luneau-Papin family, and how warm and welcoming they always are when I turn up to taste their wines. I feel exactly the same way about Vincent Ogereau, his wife Catherine and their son Emmanuel. They are charming people, full of humility, always honoured by a visit; this is despite the fact (or despite my opinion, anyway) that this is one of the finest domaines in Anjou, with a broad portfolio of wines, and high points in every part of the range. Highlights includes the Savennières from the Beaupréau sector, the Anjou-Villages from the Côte de la Houssaye, and the two Coteaux du Layon cuvées from Bonnes Blanches, one of the top vineyards of the appellation which lies very close indeed to the Layon, not far from the Coteau de Treilles vines of Pithon-Paillé. On this most recent tasting I touched upon all of these appellations and wines, including two mini-verticals of his Savennières Clos le Grand Beaupréau and straight Anjou-Villages.

Domaine Ogereau

The tasting commenced with the latest vintage of Vincent’s Anjou Blanc, the 2012 En Chenin, which these days is 100% Chenin Blanc (it used to include a little Chardonnay). This is one of a band of wines from this rather broad region which offers great value, and which should not be ignored despite the absence of a grand appellation such as Savennières. In many cases the terroir is similar, and the quality comes close. Having said that it was then onto a mini-vertical of the Clos de Grand Beaupréau, and here the wines certainly showed the worth of this appellation. The 2011 is the most recent in bottle, and shows a fine, floral purity, still very primary in character, but it is convincing. Both the 2010 and the 2009 are a step up in quality though, the first having a very restrained composition, with lifted minerality, majoring on focus and elegance, whereas the latter had a little more depth in terms of fruit and blanched-almond substance, and yet it still had the same defining acidity and streak of minerality, important features when we consider the warm and benevolent nature of the vintage. Finally came the 2008, a vintage in which I have been pleasantly surprised how some wines from Anjou, both white and red, are showing. During the Salon des Vins de Loire, for example, the 2008 Rocca Nigra from Domaine de Bablut, which was my choice with dinner one evening, put on a very convincing performance, being full of dark, concentrated, fruit. The 2008 Clos de Grand Beaupréau is evolving nicely, showing good definition but also some really delight crystalline fruit and hazelnut polish. I think the 2009 and 2010 will give greater experiences in the future, but the 2008 would be my choice for drinking now.

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