The Loire has arguably become one of the most important regions for the new band of French Vignerons and no one better represents the potential and ambition of this talented group than Geneviève Delatte and Nicolas Bertin. Based since 2008 in Rablay-Sur-Layon, a village traditionally supported by fabulous sweet Chenin Blanc, Geneviève and Nicolas have chosen a different path and are making some of the most fabulous examples of dry Chenin you are likely to find. Like many of their contemporaries in the ‘New France’ (including the talented Richard Leroy who is a neighbour), they have seen an opportunity to step out of the strictures of the AOC (which in the Coteaux du Layon require not insubstantial levels of residual sugar) and bottle their wines as Vin de France, expressing their terroir through a different lens to produce a precise, textured and ageworthy dry Chenin Blanc.
The winemaking philosophy is very simple: intervene as little as possible (both in the vineyard and the winery) and let nature take its course. However, there is no wonkiness, oxidation or funk here, which is only achieved by dedicated farming of old vines (some of their parcels were planted in 1929….see their Vingt Neuf bottling) and diligence in the cellar to ensure nothing interferes with their beloved Chenin. There is some new oak used, but only a small proportion largely to break in the barrels and provide some texture but certainly not to add any indiscreet flavour.
And as if to remind you not to take them too seriously, the couple also take time out from their organic veg patch and two young kids to produce probably the most consistently delicious sparkling Pét Nats we’ve ever tasted. All star Chenin and not to be missed.