La Ferme de la Sansonnière, 2016 Update

Mark Angeli is one of a handful of vignerons in the Loire Valley who seems to have acquired a cult following. Although some of his horrendously oxidised zero-sulphur dioxide experiments from many years ago made me question why this should be, his white wines today are bright and enticing, ultimately convincing, and perhaps worthy of his elevated status in the minds of many. Looking beyond his dry (sometimes dry-ish) whites, the 2008 Rosé d’un Jour remains for me one of the most thrilling, vivacious and ultimately drinkable rosés I have ever encountered, and last year I was also impressed with the 2013 Les Mirabelles, the first time I have seen Mark pouring a sweet wine in all the years I have known him (he did of course start out making sweet wine, like so many others in Anjou). It was a smart wine. On the whole, then, let me begin by stating I really admire these wines and Mark’s commitment to his viticultural and vinous philosophies.

Mark Angeli

The Wines

Having said that, the quartet of wines tasted with Mark (pictured above) this year felt a little more hit and miss. There was no problem in white, the 2013 Les Fouchardes showing a tense, minerally and matchsticky heart, while it was a small step up to the 2013 Les Vieilles Vignes des Blanderies and all its tingling, vivacious structure. Both are delightfully drinkable wines, although the 2013 La Lune, not tasted here but encountered last year, is surely superior.

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