Loire Chenin Blanc produced in the most natural of methods is something I'm always excited to taste. The bar for excellence is very high, given only the most skilled viticulture can turn out these complex and high-wire achievements. That's why when the importer of Chateau de Bonnezeaux had announced a new domaine, and my interest was piqued.

Lejeune, like Guyonne Saclier de la Bâtie of Bonnezeaux, worked alongside legendary Chenin Blanc whisperer, Mark Angeli at Ferme de la Sansonniere. Here, Mark taught the skills necessary to produce Anjou Chenin Blanc with minimal intervention.

Lejeune's two cuvées, first and foremost, offer a value that cannot be overstated. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc from this domaine initially explode on the palate with a soft texture, and open-knit style of fruit met with a mineral grip and tingling finishes that saturate the palate with salinity.

In its fruit profile, the Chenin Blanc shows ripe orchard fruits and honeysuckle cut with lemon citrus notes that switch this broad attack of ripeness into a mineral delivery system masterpiece. The natural element is abundantly clear with its cardamom spices fully enveloped under a strict spine of chalk and schist-derived minerality.

With this importer's portfolio covering names like Roumier, Roulot, and D'Angerville, it's exciting to see the juxtaposition of more natural-minded producers coming to the forefront offering the same fastidious methods of work with a more hands-off approach in the cellar. If there's one new name to familiarize yourself with after the Bonnezeaux wines have completely sold out, it would certainly be Olivier Lejeune's Clos des Plantes lineup.

About the label from Grand Cru Selections: "The illustration for the Chenin Blanc label was made by Magdalena Kaczan, a Polish artist. It depicts the ideas of biodiversity, the ability to establish a human connection to the earth and stars, and the humbling feeling that comes from reflecting on nature’s complexity and the subsequent desire to preserve it."

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