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2018 Domaine Belargus Layon Coteaux du Layon

Loire Valley, FRANCE
$99. 99 Bottle
$1199.88 Dozen
ABV: 11.5%
Closure: Cork

Domaine Belargus is the realisation of a dream by former Parisian investor Ivan Massonnat. While it was his love and respect for Burgundy that ignited his passion for wine, his family connection to Chinon opened his eyes to the potential of Chenin Blanc from the great terroirs of the Loire Valley. A chance encounter with retiring vigneron Jo Pithon lead the pair to meet at the foot of the legendary Coteau des Treilles vineyard one frosty morning, and the fate of each was sealed. Further acquisitions followed, including one quarter of Les Quarts in the historic heart of the Quarts-de-Chaume appellation, along with sites across the river in Savennières. This new estate is 100% dedicated to Chenin Blanc and celebrates the grape's versatility regarding terroirs and wine style. Ivan has installed a young team, and together they are currently converting to biodynamics, with a single-plot approach inspired by Ivan's first love: Burgundy.

Adapting their approach each vintage, the various plots are harvested at their optimum maturity at incredibly low yields of around 25 hectolitres per hectare. Fermentation occurs in barrel using indigenous yeasts, and can last from less than a month to more than a year, depending on each plot and the vintage characteristics. This is one of the most exciting new ventures in France today, and should appease lovers of high quality, terroir specific wines.

This cuvée results from a blend of the Domaine's plots bordering the Layon. It is characterised by its balance and great freshness, carried by notes of fresh fruit and citrus. The palate, suave and enveloping, is supported by a tangy sensation.

Other Reviews....
From south-facing slopes on the schistous soils of the Loire tributary, the 2018 Coteaux du Layon Moelleux Layon shows a radiant orange color and a brilliant, absolutely beautiful and elegant nose of perfectly ripe and stewed apricots intertwined with fresh, spicy-mineral and herbal notes as well as wax notes. Smooth and delicate on the palate, this is a seamless, perfectly balanced moelleux with fine, crystalline acidity and fully ripe and sweet, highly elegant and refined fruit. The finish is sensationally long and stimulating. This is a great Layon to have for its own, with cheese or an apricot tart. 11.5% alcohol. Tasted in June 2021. Drink 2021 - 2070.
96 points
Stephan Reinhardt - Wine Advocate (July 2021)

It’s not a typo; the entry-level cuvée from this appellation is simply named ‘Layon’, hence the duplication. It is a blend of multiple parcels in the Coteaux du Layon appellation, in the communes of Beaulieu-sur-Layon, Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay and Saint-Aubin-de-Luigné. There are 6.51 hectares all told, of varying aspects and slopes. With 106 g/l residual sugar, it is centrifuged to stop the fermentation but also receives a small dose of sulphites before being bottled relatively early compared to the other sweet wines. Aromatically it is very expressive, in a pure and precise style, with scents of grilled orange slices and almond pastry. The palate has a charming presence, very harmonious and no less pure in style than the nose, with caramelised orange, praline and desiccated fruits. Very drinkable, showing a delicate but elegant poise, focused and high class.
93 points
Chris Kissack - Winedoctor