Andrew Guard

2018 Anjou Blanc 'Les Faraunières', Domaine Andrée

Stephane's Anjou Blanc comes from 1.4 hectares of 100 year old Chenin Blanc planted in schistous soil with yellow clay and quartz. The wine goes through malolactic in barrel and finishes with a pH of 3.10 to 3.15. The wine is aged for approximately 18 months in oak (30% new) on its lees without being touched.

This is a beauty and is further testament to the greatness of Chenin in this part of France, these are every bit as captivating as great white burgundy and will age much longer.  This has a bright citric, floral nose, with a superbly managed gentle reduction in the background. It's a wine with layers and depth and one to ponder. There is an enticing energy to the palate, which goes on to display a strident and minerally backbone.

Underpinning this there is laser fresh acidity, a fine concentration and a exciting, vivacious midpalate. Superb and already a big cult wine with the Sommeliers in France.

 Over the past decade Anjou and its chenin blanc-based whites have gained a solid reputation for their remarkable depth, particularly among white Burgundy lovers seeking an affordable alternative. The reds, made from Cabernet Franc and/or Grolleau, have long been popular as a sort of alternative to Bourgueil and Chinon.

I was introduced to Stéphane Erissé a few years ago by Antoine Foucault of the Domaine du Collier. Stéphane came to winemaking late in life, he first worked in the building industry before embarking on the profession of vigneron in 2011. Since that time he's ben working with the Foucault's and also from Cyril Fhal of Roussillon's  Clos du Rouge Gorge - for work in the vines and the cellar, one could not have two better teachers!

He named his estate, which is located in the Anjou, after his grandmother Andrée.