Château de Plaisance, 2023 Update

Possibly the most exciting addition to the wine scene on the banks of the Layon since a couple of parcels in Faye d’Anjou caught the eye of Richard Leroy (the only real competition for this title is Pierre Ménard – a fresh report on his increasingly complex portfolio of wines is also in the offing), Vanessa Cherruau is making a great name for herself at the once destitute Château de Plaisance.

Château de Plaisance

It has not been plain sailing; she is juggling a responsibility for the winemaking and a requirement to balance the books with a desire to restore the vineyards, some of which are missing so many vines the only practicable course of action is to replant. This is being done in conjunction with the planting of trees, to move away from the monoculture of the vine and enhance local biodiversity. Incidentally, Luc and Bénédicte at Terra Vita Vinum, like Vanessa also newcomers to this level of responsibility, are heading down this same biodiverse path.

Even though they require reconstitution the work in the vineyards is rigorously organic and biodynamic, certified by Demeter. And the style produced in the cellar is archetypal for The New Anjou, dry and absolutely free of botrytis influence (one does not necessarily follow the other), minerally, taut and laser-sharp in their definition, the palates shaped solely by their acidity and the diaphanous layers of cool Chenin fruit.

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