2019 Manoir Tête de la Rouge Tete d’Ange Chenin Saumur
Region: Saumur < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Chenin Blanc
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Farming: certified organic since 1998 and certified biodynamic since 2010; clay-limestone soils; fermentation begins with native yeasts in vats, then transferred to bottles to continue for 10 months; bottled under screwcap with no added So2; zero-zero; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Guillaume Reynouard
Le Manoir de la Tête Rouge has been around for a minute or two (ahem, 1649), based in the Saumur region of the Loire Valley. Certified since 2010, they are all in on the biodynamic farming. Proprietor Guillaume says, "We consider our 18-hectare area as a living being, the cultivated soil and the surrounding air become the energy base of the vine. Our goal is to provide the plant the best possible environment to grow.” We love it when he talks dirt like this.
And the best part is that the wines reflect this passion for the vineyards. They are all exquisitely crafted and the ‘Tête d’Ange’ is no exception -- when we tasted it we got goosebumps. Real ones. Because Chenin can go so many different ways, and many times the result is 'meh'. Not this baby, she's exceptional. We’re talking mix of citrus and wool on the nose, peach skin, honey and wet rocks on the palate, waxy texture and looong finish. And it all comes without the classic herbicide, additives and high SO2. We’d serve this one up any day of the week, no matter what's on the table, but in particular we’re enjoying it with an egg soufflé, goat cheese tart or burrata and peaches. If you want insanely delicious and classic Chenin, this is your wine.