Anjou / Côteaux du Layon Saint Lambert / Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru - Loire Valley
Organic - not yet certified
Decanter: "Vincent OGEREAU is consistently one of the best producers in Anjou"
Domaine Ogereau "En Chenin" 2014 - Anjou
A dry white produced from 40 year old vines of Chenin Blanc planted on clayey-schist soil. Following a selection of plots representing 2 ha, the grapes are handpicked at full maturity requiring up to 4 pickings. The average yield is 40 hl/ha. Once the bunches are pressed the juice is fermented in demi-muid barrels of 400 to 500 litres for up to 3 months at cellar temperature 19°C - 21°C. The wine is then aged on fine lies for 18 months in the same barrels which are 1 to 8 years old.
PVins notes: The colour is light yellow, the nose is intense and complex with floral and citrus aromas. The palate is medium-bodied, the moderate richness is well-balanced by the acidity, great intensity of flavours on the long finish. As there is no new oak and the barrels are of a large volume, the Chenin Blanc's aromas and flavours are not over powered by any oaky characteristics either on the nose and palate, the oak is well integrated. The wine may be cellared for up to 8 years.
Press: La Revue du Vin de France 15.5
The Anjou "En Chenin" is precise and generous.
Domaine Ogereau 2015 - Côteaux du Layon Saint-Lambert
This is the main dessert wine of the Domaine, produced from Chenin Blanc vines that are 25 to 85 years old. The area picked represents 5 ha with a low yield of 29 hl/ha on average. The late picked grapes are slowly pressed at the cellar before the fermentations which are done in stainless steel vats over 3 to 4 months at cellar temperature. The wine is aged in stainless still vats for 6 months. The result is a wine with 12% alcohol and 80 to 120 g/l of residual sugar depending on the vintage and the yields.
PVins notes: Yellow in colour, white flowers and tropical fruits on the nose, hints of honey and citrus aromas. The natural freshness in the wine brings balance and a pleasant acidity on the long finish. A great wine as an aperitif, it may be cellared for up to 10 years.
Domaine Ogereau "Clos des Bonnes Blanches" 2007 - Coteaux du Layon Saint-Lambert
A premium wine dessert wine made from Chenin Blanc and only produced in excellent vintages. The 2 ha parcel with its 40 year old vines produces a very low yield of around 7.50 hl/ha. The botrytised grains are hand-picked one by one known as the "Selection de Grains Nobles" (SGN) method, 3 to 5 "tri" pickings are necessary. At picking time the grapes have a baumé potential of 23°C. After a slow press over 12 hours, the fermentations in new french oak barrels of 500 litres can last up to 6 months at cellar temperature. The ageing will last 18 months in the same oak barrels. The wine only has 12% alcohol with an average residual sugar of 170 - 190 g/l depending on the vintage.
PVins notes: This Coteaux du Layon shows purity and grace, it is powerful and rich and so well-balanced by the natural acidity, the complexity and intensity of the fruity aromas and flavours are such that the oak characteristics are very well integrated, as for the length it just lingers on. The wine may be cellared for a few decades.
Press: Janci Robinson 18.5
Incredible fruit clarity, plus honeycomb, cinnamon and allspice, dried apricot, marmalade. Simply tremendous. This is every bit the equal of the grandest sweet wines of the world. It manages that impossible feat of unctuous sweetness with lifting acidity. Fleshy, demonstrative, luscious. Drink 2010 - 2030
Guide Hachette des Vins 2010 - Outstanding
Ogereau’s reputation is second to none. Intense golden yellow colour, with vibrant amber reflections, the nose alone of this 2007 selection already delivers an outstanding success: fruit jelly, candied tangerine, quince, exotic fruit and honey. The mouth has an amazing power and yet delicate at the same time. Simply monumental.
Domaine Ogereau "La Matnière" 2015 - Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru
Another superb premium dessert wine from Chenin Blanc, 2015 is the first vintage produced by Domaine Ogereau. The parcel representing only 0.43 ha produces a very low yield of 6hl/ha from vines planted in 2001 and 2005. The botrytised grapes are hand-picked requiring 3 to 5 "tri" pickings. At picking time the grapes have a baumé potential of 22°C. After a slow press over 12 hours, the fermentations will be done in 300 and 400 litres french oak barrels over numerous months at cellar temperature. The wine is then aged in the same oak barrels of which 33% are new. Between the slow fermentations and the ageing process the wine will have spent about 15 months in oak. The wine has 12% alcohol with a residual sugar of 150+ g/l.
PVins notes: Gold in colour, intense and complex nose, with floral notes, citrus peels and hints of honey. The beautiful richness on the palate is well-balanced by the energetic freshness, the oak is well integrated, very long finish. A wine that can handle long term cellaring.
Press: The Wine Doctor 97 (16/4/2018)
In the glass it has a rich orange-gold hue, and yet the nose is so pure and bright. Currently very youthful (I would not normally broach Quarts de Chaume so young, but curiosity got the better of me) it has vibrant fruit to the fore at the moment, especially orange confiture, brimming with the sweet scents of creamed apricots, laced with a powdered-quartz minerality, and a beautiful floral lift. Aromatically, this is quite brilliant, and it is the same on the shimmering and divinely balanced palate, which is filled with sweet apricot and orange fruits set against a nice acid freshness but also a fantastic minerality which completely defines the middle and finish. A wine of superb confidence but also tension, taut and pure, with stunning poise and minerally freshness, this is certainly one of the greatest young wines from this appellation I have ever tasted, and it is a very welcome addition to the array of wines coming out of the Quarts de Chaume vineyard. So hats off to the Ogereau family.
Domaine Ogereau "Côte de la Houssaye" 2014 - Anjou Villages
A rare Cabernet Sauvignon from the Loir Valley. The vines averaging 40 years of age produce a low yield of 25 hl/ha, like many Grand Cru in other regions. The 1.64 ha parcel is composed of schist fragments enabling the grapes to reach a high maturity from the warm soil. The idea behind the wine is to express the terroir of schist from Anjou. Once the grapes are de-stemmed the fermentations will last one month in concrete vats at 28°C - 30°C. The ageing is done in demi-muid french oak barrels of 500 litres for a period of 18 months with 20% of new oak.
PVins notes: With little new oak and large size barrels the Cabernet’s aromas and flavours are not over powered by oaky flavours. This is a great wine to discover the typicity of the cabernet Sauvignon. The grape is originally from Bordeaux but funny enough there are no 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines produced in Bordeaux. If you ever do a blind tasting of Bordeaux wines from the left bank, be game to include this Anjou Villages and you will be surprised! You might pick up the difference in soils, as the wine has a stony minerality from the schists on the nose. The wine needs two to three years cellaring when released to enable the tannins to smooth out a little, it will age over 15 years in exceptional vintages developing Bordeaux style characteristics.
Press: Wine Advocate 91
The dark and densely purple colored 2014 Anjou Villages Cabernet Sauvignon Côte de la Houssaye displays a super pure and concentrated, though natural and earthy flavored bouquet of perfectly ripe dark berries, along with floral and slatey/mineral aromas. Coming from the Hyrôme hills in a tributary of the Layon river, where the vines are cultivated in a south-east-facing vineyard on stony schist soils, there is more depth, meat and a darker, more concentrated fruit on the nose than in Cabernet Franc. Concentrated and firmly structured on the palate, with tight but ripe tannins and pithy/robust fruit, this is a full-bodied and characterful red wine with a persistent and promising finish. Drink 2017 -2026.
La Revue du Vin de France 16
Domaine Ogereau was created in 1890, it is located at Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay about 20 minutes by car south of Angers. Since 1989, Vincent OGEREAU with his wife Catherine is the 4th generation to manage the Domaine of 26 ha. Vincent is a hard worker and produces wines with passion, as he says “to make great wine you must have excellent grapes. We concentrate on producing the best possible grapes that reflect both their terroir and the particular character of each vintage”. Vincent managers to show the quality of each terroir and vintage through his 3 premium wines: Côteaux du Layon saint Lambert “Clos des Bonnes Blanches” - Anjou Villages “Côte de la Houssaye” - Savennières “Clos Le Grand Beaupréau” and in the near future the new Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru "La Matinière".
Since early 2015, his son Emmanuel representing the 5th generation is officially involved in the Domaine as he will be taking over from his parents in the years to come. During the previous 5 years, Emmanuel spent some time away from home for work experience in the South of France, Rhône Valley, Oregon USA and even New Zealand. He also accomplished a Diploma in viticulture and like his father he is a strong believer of the terroir's potentials.
Domaine Ogereau increased its holdings in 2015 from 24.70 ha to 26 ha following the acquisition of 2 new parcels in the appellations Coteaux du Layon 1 Cru Chaumes (0.87 ha) and Quarts de Chaumes Grand Cru (0.43 ha) at the lieu-dit "La Matinière". The Domaine is made up of 32 parcels representing 14.80 ha planted in red grapes and 11.20 ha in white grapes. The previous acquisition dates back to 2002 when Vincent acquired 2 ha in the famous appellation Savennières. The Domaine's vineyards are planted at a density of 5,000 vines per hectare with the classic Anjou appellation grape varieties: Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Some of the Chenin Blanc vines are up to 85 years old.
The description of the best terroirs in the area producing the Domaine's premium wines are as follow:
The 2 ha parcel that produces the Côteaux du Layon Saint Lambert "Harmonie des Bonnes Blanches" and "Clos des Bonnes Blanches" is on a gentle slope overlooking the river Layon. The name “Bonnes Blanches” (good whites) is in reference to the soil structure made of grey schist and alterite schist that look like white chalky rocks which easily crumble. This is the best "lieu-dit" of the Côteaux du Layon Saint-Lambert area. The soil structure enables the roots to grow deep to find the moisture and resist the hot summers and noble rot develops very well on the grapes.
The parcel that produces the Anjou Village "Côte de la Houssaye" is a 1.64 ha parcel of Cabernet Sauvignon at the lieu-dit "Houssaye", about 1.2 km south of Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay. Here the terroir is made of schist enabling the Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen very well due to the heat released by the stony soil structure. The parcel has a south-easterly orientation overlooking the Hyrôme valley.
The 2 ha parcel that produces the Savennières "Clos Le Grand Beaupréau" has a terroir combining schist, quartz and alluvial sand. The vines have a southerly orientation and being on the plateau the wind provides good ventilation, keep the grapes dry reducing the risk of rot and keeping the freshness. The wine is named after the lieu-dit "Beaupréau" located near an old windmill.
A new wine is yet to be produced as of the 2015 vintage for the newly acquired 0.43 ha parcel of Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru, located 200 metres west of the village Chaume. The terroir is composed of brown schist and arboniferous soils. The vines are situated with a southerly exposure on a slope in an amphitheatre-like setting, protected from the winds and well exposed to the sun. The area benefits from a micro-climate where morning fog develops enabling the noble rot to develop on the grapes with ease.
As for the management of the vineyard, traditional work is carried out with the harvest being hand-picked. The practice of green harvesting in July will be done when necessary to keep the yields down and increase the grapes ripening potential, canopy management is also practiced. Since 2008, Vincent has been implementing organic farming principals with the prospect of his son Emmanuel taking over an even healthier vineyard for the future. May be his son will seek an organic certification in the future, time will tell.
Vincent Ogereau produces a range of Loire wines in the Anjou region under the appellations Anjou, Anjou Villages, Cabernet d'Anjou, Savennières, Coteaux du Layon Saint Lambert and as of the 2015 vintage Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru and Chaume 1 Cru. Under these various appellations the Domaine can offer dry whites, a rosé, reds and dessert wines. The whites are made from Chenin Blanc and the reds from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Domaine Ogereau's reputation comes from its range of quality wines especially the premium wines: Côteaux du Layon Saint Lambert "Clos des Bonnes Blanches", Anjou Village "Côte de la Houssaye", Savennières "Clos Le Grand Beaupréau" and the new Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru "La Matinière".
In the vineyard Vincent's approach is to have the grapes reach full maturity with the terroir's help, as he says “to make great wine you must have excellent grapes. We concentrate on producing the best possible grapes that reflect both their terroir and the particular character of each vintage”. The harvest is handpicked with multiple pickings if necessary. With the combination of low yields and optimum ripeness the dry wines are medium to full-bodied reaching 13.5% to 14% alcohol, they are well-balanced, develop great aromatic complexity and length on the palate such as the cuvée Anjou "En Chenin".
The winemaking process will differ depending on the style of wine and its terroir provenance. Only indigenous yeasts are used for the fermentations of all the wines. The Chenin Blanc grapes are slow pressed as whole bunches for a period of up to 12 hours for the dessert wines. The must of the premium whites will be fermented in demi-muid oak barrels of 400 to 500 litres before ageing on fine lees in the same barrels for up to 18 months. Only a small portion of new demi-muid oak barrels are used as not to overpower the wines with oaky flavours. Chaptalisation is never practiced on the estate to produce the dessert wines.
As for the red wines, the grapes are destemmed before the fermentations which will vary in length depending on the wine and quality of the vintage. The Anjou and Anjou Villages reds made from Cabernet Franc are fermented in concrete vats, while the premium wine "Côte de la Houssaye" made from Cabernet Sauvignon only will be fermented in 500 litres oak barrels and aged in the same barrels for over a year. The red wines are bottled without filtration.
Vincent OGEREAU is well known in the appellation Côteaux du Layon for his famous highly concentrated premium dessert wine "Clos des Bonnes Blanches", it is only produced in excellent vintages with a very low yield of 7 hl/ha, similar to the famous Château d'Yquem in Sauternes. The cuvée "Harmonie des Bonnes Blanches" from the same parcel is produced more often. The parcel overlooking the river Layon has an ideal micro-climate for the botrytis to develop. The name “Bonnes Blanches” (good whites) is in reference to the terroir made of grey schist and alterite schist that look like white chalky rocks. This is the best "lieu-dit" of the Côteaux du Layon Saint-Lambert area. Vincent lets the grapes reach such a maturity with the combination of noble rot and passerillage, that the harvest for the "Clos des Bonnes Blanches" is done picking grains one by one known as Selection de Grains Nobles (SGN) which involves multiple "tri". This combination of maturity and picking technique produces extremely low yields and high sugar concentrated Chenin Blanc, but let us not forget the wine is balanced by the terroir's and the Chenin's freshness.
Vincent's reputation also comes from the red Anjou Village "Côte de la Houssaye" a rare 100% Cabernet Sauvignon considered one of the best of the Loire region. We are dealing here with a premium wine that can rival with some of Bordeaux's left bank wines. The soil of the 1.64 ha parcel is made of schist enabling the Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen very well from the sun's heat released by the stony soil. The yield of 30 hl/ha is low which similar to some of the Grand Cru Classé from Bordeaux. The yield is kept at 12 bunches per vine. The wine is aged for 18 months in large oak barrels of 500 litres, the advantage is that the wine is not overpowered by oaky flavours due to the ratio liquid to oak, letting the Cabernet Sauvignon and the terroir express themselves in harmony. After some cellaring you will be surprised, in a blind tasting, by its ability to rival with left bank Bordeaux wines.
The acquisition in 2002 of 2 ha at the lieu-dit "Beaupréau" in the appellation Savennières was a rare opportunity for Domaine Ogereau to set foot in the appellation. The premium wine produced is named "Clos Le Grand Beaupréau". The terroir on the plateau is a combination of schist, quartz and alluvial sand. Here the Chenin Blanc grapes are handpicked at full maturity requiring 2 or 3 pickings which produces a full-bodied dry white. The wine is barrel fermented and aged on fine lees in demi-muid giving it richness and aromatic complexity while balanced by a natural acidity.
CÔTEAUX DU LAYON
The Coteaux du Layon appellation located south of Angers was created in 1950. The name of this sweet wine appellation situated within the Anjou sub-region derives from the river Layon which is a tributary of the Loire river. It covers 1,600 hectares over 27 communes of which 6 stand out: Beaulieu-sur-Layon, Faye-d’Anjou, Rablay-sur-Layon, Rochefort-sur-Loire, Saint-Aubin-de-Luigné and Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay. The wines produced from these 6 communes may carry the name of the commune on the label. Within the Coteaux du Layon area 3 other small appellations can be found: Bonnezeaux (90 ha) near the villages of Thouarcé and Bonnezeaux - Coteaux du Layon 1 Cru Chaume (130 ha) which also includes Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru (45 ha) within its boundary, both are located on the commune of Rochefort sur Loire. The wines require a higher grape maturity and lower yields by their appellation decree resulting in concentrated sweet wines.
The Coteaux du Layon Vineyards are planted on schist and sandstone terraces of the Massif Armoricain with brown, shallow “Anjou Noir” soil (eroded mother rock). The well exposed and well ventilated hillsides “coteaux” enable the grapes to reach a high maturity. The best vineyards are generally located on the right bank of the Layon, where they enjoy good sun exposure on south, southwest facing slopes that have a 40 degree angle in some areas, providing good drainage. The landscape can reach an altitude of 60 metres while on the left bank it reaches 20 metres where the slopes are not as steep.
The Chenin Blanc also known as Pineau de la Loire can be traced back to 845 AD. It is the only white grape allowed by decree for the appellations Anjou and Coteaux du Layon. Often, the grapes are harvested when they are affected by “botrytis” known as noble rot, different level of sweetness may be found depending on the residual sugar following the different methods of ripening the grapes, but a Coteaux du Layon wine is never dry. Multiple hand pickings are carried out to selectively pick over-ripened grapes presenting high sugar concentrations, whether or not due to noble rot. Simple wines from the appellation could best be described as semi-sweet as the minimum residual sugar required for the appellation is 34g/L. Some producers use the sun-dried grapes technique of leaving the grapes on the vine known as “passerillage”, while some vignerons produce very sweet wines with an intense botrytis character similar to the great Sauternes from Bordeaux. Since 2002 the method known as “Sélection de Grains Nobles” may be put on the label, similar to the Alsace SGN wines. The grapes must be affected by noble rot. This method produces extremely low yields with very high sugar concentration and the picking is done virtually grain by grain. As a final point, dry whites produced from the same vineyards are classified under the appellation Anjou.
In general a Coteaux du Layon is deep gold in colour developing into old gold with age, the nose is intense with complex aromas of acacia flower, honey, citrus and candied fruit, the palate is round and occasionally unctuous and yet balanced by the Chenin Blanc’s natural freshness and the length just lingers on and on. Some of the wines produced by the best producers in exceptional vintages may be cellared for decades.
The region’s climate has a particularly dry, temperate maritime climate. The autumn morning fog that develops in some areas of the Layon combined with sunny afternoons also helps the botrytis cinerea to develop.