2018 Domaine Belargus Quarts Anjou
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.
"Les Quarts" is the original plot, facing south, which gave its name to the Quarts-de-Chaume appellation. As a matter of fact, until the French Revolution, the lords of Haute Guerche, tenants of the Chaume vineyards, used to pay the nuns of the Ronceray Abbey with “the best quarters of the harvest” ... The name “Quarts-de-Chaume” was born. The soils are based on Precambrian schists, which bring finesse and length to this legendary cuvée.
Les Quarts is a parcel of 3ha in the heart of the Quarts de Chaume appellation, and gives its name to the appellation. Ivan Massonnat now produces dry white wines here. Loam and clay soil on schists. This comes from a vineyard on pure schist in the historic centre of the Quarts-de-Chaume appellation, whose name derives from it. Richly textured but with underlying tension and a delicate finish. Lovely notes of menthol and aniseed. What is so remarkable about this superb wine is how its density deploys into a sensation of vibrant verticality. Drinking Window 2025 - 2035.
Yohan Castaing - Decanter
One of a series of dry wines from within the Quarts de Chaume zone, this originates from Les Quarts, where the soils lie over schist, and the slope ranges from 10% to 20%. This is a serious step up from Ronceray and Rouères (the fourth cuvée, Veau, was not produced in this inaugural vintage), with an intense nose, focused and mineral, laser-like in its quality and definition, searing with the smoky and pungent scents of citrus and ripe orchard fruits. There is great harmony on the palate, where the wines shows energy and freshness, a tense and very correct style, supporting supple, polished and medium-bodied fruit. A fragrant style overall, charming, with a great, defined, upright energy. A long, minerally and defined finish, with brilliant lift and precision. Fabulous.
Chris Kissack - Winedoctor