Château de la Roche en Loire, 2013 Update

Wine can teach you all sorts of lessons. It is many years now since the meaning of the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” was first explained to me, and yet in wine it is a maxim that return to time and time again. You can’t judge the style of a wine simply by the fact the vigneron in question has turned up to a ‘natural’ wine fair (or indeed any other theme – this isn’t meant to be a pop at ‘natural’ wine). Nor can you judge a wine by the label, as sometimes the most uninspiring label can be hiding a very exciting wine (and vice versa of course). And you certainly can’t judge a wine by its colour.

Château de la Roche en Loire

Not all of these maxims necessarily apply to Château de la Roche en Loire, but some of them certainly do. Louis-Jean Sylvos came to wine as a hobby, his first career having been in the fashion industry, for which he was based in Paris. The château, which sits near the mouth of the Indre Valley, just before the river flows out onto the plain of the Loire, was initially a weekend retreat for him. He first restored the château, but didn’t stop there, and before long he had also reconstituted the vineyard, converted it to organics and then biodynamics. This was all achieved despite being, as he puts it, “self-taught“; it is an impressive accomplishment.

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