Domaine Belargus rocketed to fame after receiving an ideal rating for certainly one of its very first releases. The Anjou property was created in 2018 by French financier Ivan Massonnat and is devoted to celebrating the particular terroirs of this particular nook of the Loire by the lens of Chenin Blanc.
Ivan Massonnat grew up within the Savoie, the place his grandfather farmed a small winery, however solely got here to wine in his 20s. He fell in love with Burgundy and the idea of terroir, growing shut relationships with producers there. He purchased a rustic home within the Loire and step by step discovered extra concerning the area, discovering its wealthy historical past of advantageous wine manufacturing and its unrealized potential.
After a decade spent studying concerning the wine enterprise, in 2018 he purchased legendary Loire producer Jo Pithon’s operation – then beneath the title Pithon-Paillé, together with his prized Coteau des Treilles winery. Inside six months he purchased a parcel in Savennières and 10 hectares (equal to 1 / 4 of the appellation) of Quarts de Chaume, the area’s solely Grand Cru vineyards. He employed a younger crew together with winemaker Adrien Moreau, previously of Château Cheval Blanc, Roederer and Ch. Haut-Brion. Jo Pithon and the late Man Bossard (a pioneer of biodynamic farming in Muscadet) labored as consultants.
There are round 24 hectares in complete, averaging between 30 and 40 years previous. The vines are all farmed biodynamically, with natural certification accomplished and biodynamic certification underway. The yields are low, round 25hl/ha, which the crew are step by step making an attempt to extend (aiming for 35hl/ha) with work within the winery. One specific focus is harvesting the grapes at excellent maturity – doing a number of passes by the winery (between two and 6, relying on the classic) to verify no inexperienced or over-ripe berries make it into the vineyard.
The final strategy within the vineyard is to intervene as little as doable – with chrome steel and primarily bigger, previous oak, indigenous yeast, letting malolactic fermentation occur (or not), retaining wines on the lees and utilizing solely important ranges of sulfur. A brand new vineyard is being deliberate to present them additional management, with, for instance, a Coquard press (permitting particularly light urgent, generally utilized in Champagne).
The purpose is to carry again all of the wines three to 4 years, and launch them when prepared, as such the 2020s had been launched earlier than the 2019s, for instance. The wines had been first launched in 2021, with the 2018 Quarts de Chaume Extremely, the property’s most unctuous cuvée, with one barrel solely made in distinctive vintages, incomes 100 factors from the Wine Advocate.
The property produces a number of completely different wines, primarily targeted on particular person parcels of vines – all solely with Chenin Blanc. Anjou Noir is the property’s entry-level bottling, mixing fruit from throughout its vineyards. In Savennières it makes two cuvées – Gaudrets (from a 1.85-hectare parcel) and the monopole Ruchères (a 0.4-hectare clos on the foot of Roche aux Moines). In Quarts de Chaume, it produces a spread of each dry and candy wines. At present the dry wines can’t carry “Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru” on the label, though that is one thing Massonnat is difficult. Ronceray is a mix of plots throughout Quarts de Chaume, then there are three single websites: Quarts, Rouères and Veau, with each Quarts and Rouères made in dry and candy types. Along with these, Belargus produces Layon (a mix of plots near the river within the Coteaux du Layon), Excharderie (a mix of Premier Cru Chaume parcels) and Extremely, its most decadent candy wine, made solely in sure vintages. There are two additional dry wines – Bonnes Blanches and Treilles, the latter coming from Jo Pithon’s authentic Coteau des Treilles winery.
In 2022, Ivan Massonnat bought an property in Chinon, Domaine de Beauséjour.