New generation boosts Loire’s fortunes

20th November, 2012 by Gabriel Stone

The Loire is ripe for a major generational shift, as young winemakers begin to prove the quality potential of neglected parts of the region.

Thibaud Boudignon: working to strengthen Anjou’s image

“There will be a big change in the next generation,” predicted Marine Dargery, whose partner Thibaud Boudignon is catching attention for his Anjou white wines.

Speaking to the drinks business as the couple showed his second vintage, 2010, at the Justerini & Brooks Loire tasting in London this week, Dargery observed that, in Anjou alone, “50% of vignerons are more than 55 years old”.

Pointing to the generation that is now beginning to take over, she confirmed that as well as being “absolutely interested” in winemaking as a career choice, “they have travelled and are really quality focused.”

As for the reputation of Anjou, where the couple met and now own two hectares of vineyard 10 kilometres south of the river Loire, Dargery admitted: “It has a very bad perception – the wines can be dry or sweet and they don’t have a very precise culture of winemaking.”

In contrast, she stressed, “We want to make very precise wines,” adding: “Our objective is to find and own very specific terroirs.”

In an effort to promote the quality reputation of Anjou, Boudignon distinguished himself as “one of the only winemakers in the region to put ‘Anjou Blanc’ on the label”, rather than the generic vin de table designation.

Having built up a customer base that includes a number of two and three Michelin starred restaurants in Paris, Dargery pointed to an ultimate goal of extending their vineyard holdings to “six or seven hectares”.

In particular, she outlined an ambition to work in the Anjou sub-appellation of Savennières, whose wines she praised as “more mineral”. Having managed to buy half a hectare there so far, Boudignon made his first Savennières wine in 2011.

Despite this generational shift, Dargery, who works in Loire vineyard and winery sales, expressed concern about the profitability of Muscadet and Touraine in particular, where she summed up the situation as “not good”.

Offering a UK merchant’s perspective of the region, J&B buying director Giles Burke-Gaffney described the Loire as “still quite niche”, although he remarked: “It offers the best value on our list”.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Executive (London – Craft Spirits)

Bimber Distillery
London, UK

2 x Buying Assistants

Berry Bros. & Rudd
Battersea and Basingstoke, UK

Temporary Christmas Sales Support - Wines & Spirits

Harrods
Knighsbridge, London, UK

Head of Wholesale

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

National Sales Manager

Maverick Drinks
Field based, UK

Regional Sales Executive

EWGA
Gloucestershire, UK

Senior Content Writer

Rude Wines
Ledbury, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Amsterdam,Netherlands
20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Green Awards 2017

Deadline : 25th October 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 30th October 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more