Chateau de Plaisance Cremant de Loire Brut Nature
Certified biodynamic. 100% Chenin Blanc. From multiple parcels on the Chaume hill. 20+ year old vines. Sandstone over schist bedrock. Indigenous yeast. Partial malo. Fermented and aged in 70% stainless steel, 30% older barrels for 11 months. Dosage: 0g/L
Vanessa Cherruau is a steward of one of the Loire’s great terroirs – Chaume. After finishing wine school in Angers, she befriended the Rochais family on the Chaume hill, who owned Chateau de Plaisance (more a farmhouse than Chateau) and its 25 ha of vines growing on the schist bedrock of the appellation. With plans to sell the historic estate to the local cooperative, Vanessa convinced the family to sell to her instead, allowing her to continue the fine legacy they left, while forging a new path for Loire greatness. Luckily for Vanessa, she inherited some of the most well-cared for vines on the hill, as Plaisance has been certified organic since 1998 and certified biodynamic since 2004. She of course has continued the biodynamic viticulture started by her predecessors, knowing that taking care of the natural environment of the vines is of utmost importance. Since her first vintage in 2019, she has helped raise the image of dry Chenin made on the Chaume hill to where it is now one of the most interesting terroirs in the Loire.
Only 10km south of Savennieres, Chaume is a sweet-wine only appellation (Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru and Coteaux de Layon 1er Cru Chaume), and so Vanessa and the other producers of dry Chenin on the hill, cannot legally put Chaume on their labels. This hasn’t deterred Vanessa from continuing to make world-class dry wines, joining other growers on the hill to create their own name for dry Chenin made from vines on the Chaume hill – Ronceray. This name has been adopted by growers to help promote the dry wines of Chaume, with its origin coming from the name of a 17th century monastery that made dry wines on the Chaume hill. Vanessa is unquestionably of the leaders of this qualitative surge in the area, with whites and reds of of gorgeous purity and soaring minerality. These are wines that clearly announce the rise of a new star of the Loire.
A term typically reserved for Champagne and Sparkling Wines, non-vintage or simply “NV” on a label indicates a blend of finished wines from different vintages (years of harvest). To make non-vintage Champagne, typically the current year’s harvest (in other words, the current vintage) forms the base of the blend. Finished wines from previous years, called “vins de reserve” are blended in at approximately 10-50% of the total volume in order to achieve the flavor, complexity, body and acidity for the desired house style. A tiny proportion of Champagnes are made from a single vintage.
There are also some very large production still wines that may not claim one particular vintage. This would be at the discretion of the winemaker’s goals for character of the final wine.
Known for its delightful whites and sparkling Pétillant and Mousseux, made predominantly of Chenin blanc, Anjou has a temperate and dry maritime climate. The region's limited temperature variations are admiringly referred to locally as the “douceur angevine,” or “Anjou sweetness.” Fruit forward rosé and red wines from Cabernet Franc and Gamay merit Anjou its success within the Loire subregions.