2014 Thomas Batardiere ‘L’Esprit Libre’
Region: Anjou < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Chenin Blanc
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Demeter certified biodynamic, 15-60 year-old vines, soils of red sand and quartz gravel on schist, fermented and aged in stainless steel, wine rests on lees for several months, zero sulfur added, 500 cases produced
Winemaker: Thomas Batardiere
A former filmmaker and sommelier, and now winemaker, Thomas Batardiere is already on his third career at the young age of 36. After tasting this wine, it seems pretty obvious that he has found his true calling. This wine is so pure, so expressive, so stand out in every way – and Thomas’ philosophy partially explains why. A true believer in biodynamics, he feels most of his work is done in the vines. After this, the grapes just need gentle guidance in the cellar to reach their full potential. As he explains, “Biodynamics brings life to the plant, the parcel, and the entire domaine, leaving it more rich and complex. And that shows in the wines. A living wine is better expressed and with a greater variety.” To us, L’Esprit Libre is the essence of Chenin Blanc, exactly what this noble grape aspires to be. You get a crazy mix of key lime, orange potpourri and wet stone on the nose, followed by honey, rocks and a creamy lushness. There is staggering depth and complexity and energy in this wine. Will age beautifully, but it is so freaking delicious we recommend drinking ASAP.