Savennières – La Roche aux Moines
Of the 146 ha planted in Savennières AOC, Savennières-Roche-aux-Moines covers 33 hectares – of which only 22 ha are under production, shared by 9 domaines. It became its own appellation beginning with the 2011 vintage and is typically shortened to Roche-aux-Moines, the same way Coulée-des-Serrant is usually expressed without the “Savennières” prefix. This incredible vineyard – the part leased by the Branchereau family is owned by Baron Braincard- must by law be organically farmed. It is composed of shale, Aeolian sand and veins of volcanic rock.
The grapes are manually harvested at optimum maturity by two successive passes through the vineyard. During the fermentation, the temperature is closely monitored to highlight Chenin’s natural aromas. The wine goes through partial malolactic fermentation, and is aged on the lees for about 11 months in 400 liter barrels, with some bâtonnage. Age at least 5 years before serving. 208 cases produced.
“The 2021 Roche aux Moines is round, full, savory and nutty with pleasurable creamy notes (11 months bâtonnage). It’s a pleasing and easy-to-enjoy style, offering good typicity, texture and freshness rather than being challenging. It can be enjoyed in youth and over the next decade with its fresh, spicy line of acidity.” Vinous
About the Producer
Domaine des Forges has been run by the Branchereau family since 1890. The domaine, now in the hands of Stéphane Branchereau and his wife Séverine, spreads over 47 ha of vineyards: a little Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, some Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, and 27 ha of Chenin Blanc. The Chenin parcels include 3 ha in Quarts de Chaume and other plots in three separate crus of Savennières: Moulin du Gué, Clos du Papillon and Roche aux Moines. Domaine des Forges crafts three outstanding single-vineyard Savennières from these parcels.
Farming practices: sustainable. Grass is allowed to grow between the rows in order to avoid erosion and improve the health of the soil. Preventive health techniques are used, such as ébourgeonnage (the removal of unwanted new vine shoots) and effeuillage (the removal of old leaves). No herbicides or pesticides are used.
Domaine des Forges
Three terroirs: Le Clos du Papillon, Le Moulin du Gué, La Roche aux Moines