Mark Angeli has long been a champion of bio-dynamic viticulture and a staunch critic of the French authorities who continue to permit the deployment of chemical herbicides and fertilizers. Indeed, he is so disdainful of the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine that he refuses to recognise their system of classification, bottling his entire output as 'Vin de France'. With a fiercely loyal following amongst journalists and sommeliers, his wines are prized by oenophiles and are fiendishly hard to source on secondary markets.
Mark currently tends 7 hectares of vines around the village of Thouarcé, 20 kilometres south of Angers, at his Ferme de la Sansonnière where he also produces organic flour and apple juice. His 'La Lune' bottling of pure Chenin Blanc has inviting baked bread and stewed apple aromas and a ripe quince fruit palate with notes of honey, nuts and preserved peel.
Based 4 kilometres to the west at Champ-sur-Layon, Cyrille Lecointre is the eighth generation of his family to practice viticulture at Château La Tomaze where the family watchwords are 'finesse, elegance and balance'. His organic Cabernet d'Anjou is made from pure Cabernet Franc and is off-dry with a coral-pink robe, strawberry scents and a juicy palate of crushed summer berries.