There's no place I've visited that carries the same undercurrent of excitement like Anjou. The Loire Valley region has long been associated with sweet wines, but today there's a group of winemakers who are turning that playbook upside down. They focus on dry wines, using meticulous organic viticulture and minimal sulphur as the foundation for change in this region of complicated identity.

Of this band of vignerons, 
Guyonne Saclier de la Bâtie of Château de Bonnezeaux is the brand new arrival to the US that I've been waiting to write about. Her first and only release from a two-hectare parcel of old Chenin Blanc vines epitomizes the magic capable in Anjou.

Today I'm very happy to offer the resurrection of the Château de Bonnezeaux, the 2016 La Montagne Cuvée Salve Regina at $45 per bottle, and down to $42.25 on 4-Packs. We are one of only two listings in the entire US for this inaugural release.

At first pour, Cuvée Salve Regina's very pale yellow hue initially got me engaged. It's often from this area I'll find more darker peach and apricot notes that totally miss the mark with their heavier handed Chenin expression. It's the fresh white pear, honeysuckle, and meyer lemon all woven together here with a mineral spring finish that was just irresistible. The concentration of bright acidity and crushed rock notes that linger on the palate stands in stark contrast to anything else I've come across. And the distinctive cardamom note on the nose and the palate only adds to the intrigue here.

Château de Bonnezeaux's first release in over thirty years comes from two parcels of Chenin Blanc vines blended together: a 70-yr-old vineyard in Bonnezeaux and a 40-yr-old vineyard in the Coteaux du Layon. Both appellations have long stood as where sweet Chenin Blanc reaches its apogee, but the archaic French laws have kept vignerons from pushing the envelope to see what else was capable here. Today, dry wines from these two regions are often required to be labeled with the humble Vin de France appellation you see pictured below.

The names Mark Angeli, Stephane Bernaudeau, and Richard Leroy should be addressed. This trio of mentors has been a pivotal force in grooming the new generation in Anjou. It was working under these producers that Guyonne found her voice for Château de Bonnezeaux, and in her wine the spirit of these three names is obvious. Minimal sulphur is a common thread for all, and the resulting wilder elements of spices and aromas is intrinsically tied to each of the domaine's spellbinding wines.

I thought it would be fun to also put together a special mixed 6-Pack of my favorite Anjou natural wine producers. The six have worked together, informing and challenging each other to show a side of Chenin Blanc that has never been displayed here before. These wines are each produced in minuscule quantities, and many are the only listings in the US today.


To order please reply directly to this email.

2016 Château de Bonnezeaux La Montagne Cuvée Salve Regina
$45 per bottle.

Special E-mail 4-Pack Pricing: $169 ($42.25/bottle)

*Anjou Whisper 6-Pack Pricing: $368 (Regularly $396)
2014 Ferme de la Sansonniere (Mark Angeli) Anjou Les Fouchardes (Monopole) 
2014 Stephane Bernaudeau Les Onglés VDF 
2016 Château de Bonnezeaux La Montagne Cuvée Salve Regina
 
2016 Benoit Courault Anjou Gilbourg 
2014 Vins Hodgson (Mai et Kenji) Les Aussigouins VDF
2014 Richard Leroy Anjou Rouliers