France Wine

Thibaud Boudignon, a rising star of Loire

Boudignon’s wines have been appearing in numerous wine lists in the last years and there are good reasons for it. Having worked in Burgundy in the past, in 2009 Thibaud started his own venture in Anjou and within a few years he managed to revitalise the image of Loire Chenin Blanc. 

“You don’t find average wines in Savennières – it’s either terrible or exceptional.”

Eric Morgat in Noble Rot

Historically, Anjou used to be a highly recognised appellation for its sweet wines. But the sweetness can obscure the true authenticity and complexity of the terroir. Unfortunately, most dry wines here have been produced industrially, rendering a fat and heavy expression. However, when working the vines organically, the wines can show the terroir through very mineral and saline notes. Thibaud’s dry Chenin develops such a tense acidic structure that it feels as if it had been chiseled from Anjou’s schist soils. Through experimentation, him and others like Richard Leroy and Eric Morgat are now producing elegant and more existentially authentic wines. Their vinification employs native yeasts and large barrels that allow to preserve these characteristics; perhaps merely adding a mild reductive note. 

Boudignon’s plots in Savennières, an appellation famous for its concentration within the region of Anjou, yield richer wines, but the tension is preserved. One of the best examples is his Les Fougerais, which unfortunately has been discontinued (we keep looking at our last bottle with a light wistfulness). The most similar example available at the moment is La Vigne Cendrée, a young planting, but with comparable muscle. We are still to try his celebrated Clos de la Hutte, the tiny allocation of 1000 bottles has been elusive to source.

From Eric Morgat we recommend Fidès, whereas from Leroy we can only implore you to let us know if you see any of his bottles at a good price. Other excellent Loire Chenin Blancs, but equally difficult to source, are Domaine de Guiberteau and the unique Coulée de Serrant.

Tasting notes:

Thibaud Boudignon – Anjou Blanc 2018
Nose:Lime zest, wet gravel. As it evolves and warms up, ripe apples, grapefruit and finally honeyed and bee wax notes.
Palate:Very zesty and racy attack. Citrous midpalate. The finish starts with lime zest and minerality and with time it takes honeyed notes.
Structure:Very high acid, medium alcohol, creamy medium body (perhaps some malolactic fermentation), dry. Long finish!

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