Geneviève Delatte and Nicolas Bertin
In the past decade or so, the town of Rablay-sur-Layon has become a small hub for dedicated young winemakers in the Loire Valley. There’s a strong community spirit –each year the town organizes a small music festival, and there is a cooperative grocery store in the town center. Geneviève Delatte and Nicolas Bertin started out in the area working for other winemakers, and in 2008, they purchased their own small vineyard, a lieu-dit named L’Echalier. In 2012 they built a small home and winery at the edge of their vines, and found a few other small vineyards in the hills around Rablay, which will be bottled separately from L’Echalier. The winemaking philosophy is to keep things simple; accompany the vines, the grapes, and the wine. Spend a lot of time observing, intervene as little as possible.
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Vin de France "L'Echalier"
100% Chenin Blanc. Natural fermentation, aged half in stainless steel, and half in barrel (⅓ new). After a year, the tank and barrel lots are assembled and let to rest for 6 months before bottling. Nicolas says he just wants to just wants to do things simply. Funny how the wine that comes from doing things simply tastes pretty complex. Chenin Blanc from Rablay-sur-Layon is historically a sweet wine, but they prefer to drink dry wines, and wanted to make something they could enjoy every day. This has some of the same pear and honey flavors of the sweet wines from Coteaux-du-Layon, but it's definitely a vin sec, something to drink all the time.
Vin de France "Vingt-Neuf"
100% Chenin Blanc from vines planted in 1929, aged in new 500 liter barrels, then in steel tanks for 6 months. 170 cases.
Vin de France "Popsec"
100% Chenin Blanc. "Methode ancestrale" - first fermentation finishes in bottle, resulting in a naturally sparkling wine. Minimum 1 year "sur latte" then bottles are disgorged manually and topped off with the same base wine during the winter months.