oz wine company | 41 Rogers road, haverhill Ma | 978-373-9463

Le Domaine Richou 

 

 

Founded in 1920, Domaine Richou is a small 30+ hectare estate nestled in Anjou’s sub-region named Coteaux L’Aubance.  Coteaux L’Aubance abuts Coteaux de Layon, and makes similar late harvest Chenin Blanc, labelled Coteau de L’Aubance, but the wines are rarely able to age like neighboring Layon.  Given this, the few producers in this tiny area make small amounts of late harvest Chenin wines and focus primarily on making still Anjou Blanc and Rouge wines. 

 

The Richou vineyards lie in a very particular area know as Anjour Noir.  It is here where the chalk (Tuffeau) that makes up most of Loire Valley’s vineyards to the east ends, and the dark slate and schists soils dominate.  These soils are the oldest in the Loire Valley and were formed from ancient volcanic activity.  It’s these soils along with excellent farming and winery work that make the Richou wines so pure, mineral-driven, and complex.

 

The estate, managed by brothers Didier and Damien Richou, and has been in the family for three generations. Didier has been winemaker here since 1979 and Damien took over responsibility in the vineyards in 1993. The brothers converted to organic farming since 2000 and received certification in 2013. They are now taking steps towards biodynamic viticulture.

ANJOU BLANC ROGERIES

VARIETAL: Chenin Blanc

VINEYARD: Grapes are harvested from a single 10.4 acre vineyard where the vines grow in meager volcanic soil. Exposure is on south-southwest slopes. Harvest is by hand with two passes and the yield is quite low. The élevage is long on the lees in new and old barrels. RS is typically between 2.5 and 3.5 g/l. Production averages 500 cases.

VINE AGE: Vineyards were re-planted between 1989-1991

FARMING: Certified organic, practicing biodynamic

VINIFICATION: Harvested by hand. Fermentation in barrels, followed by lees aging for 12-18 months.

Anjou Blanc chauvine

 

VARIETAL: 100% Chenin Blanc

SOIL: Shale and rhyolites

FARMING: Certified organic, practicing biodynamic

VINIFICATION: Long fermentation

TASTING NOTES: 100% Chenin Blanc from three different vineyards on the estate which all have varying degrees of schist soils. Approximately 1,700 cases are produced annually, which makes this cuvée their largest production.

Anjou Rouge les 4 chemins

 

VARIETAL: Cabernet Franc, and with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon

VINEYARD: These varieties grow in Aubance schists in two parcels totaling 2.8 hectares, or nearly 7 acres. Ideal yield is around 40 h/ha and rough annual production is 1,250 cases. 
FRAMING: Certified organic, practicing biodynamic 
VINIFICATION: Made entirely in stainless steel tank from young vines

Les Chateliers Rouge

VARIETAL: Gamay

SOIL TYPE: Schist-quartz

VINEYARD: Les Chatelieres is a 5.4 acre lieu-dit parcel of Gamay 

FARMING: Certified organic, practicing biodynamic

VINIFICATION: Three-fourths is fermented traditionally, and one-quarter is fermented whole cluster. Yields are low, and production averages 825 cases.

Coteaux De l'aubance La Selection

VARIETAL: Chenin Blanc

SOIL: Volcanic and schist

FARMING: Certified organic, practicing biodynamic

VINIFICATION: Harvested by hand over three passages from October through mid-November