Coteaux du Layon Wine
Intense late-harvest or noble-rotted Chenin Blanc is the name of the game in the Coteaux du Layon, south of Angers. Cyrille Lecointre farms his 10 hectares of vine-holdings organically at Château La Tomaze in the small village of Champ-sur-Layon. The microclimate there is particularly suited to the production of delicate sweet wines whose prices belie the efforts involved. Repeated passes (or tries) through the vineyard to pick individual bunches according to ripeness give an intensity and complexity to their wines which can age for decades.
His principal wine, in terms of volume, is called 'Atomes Crochus', which we think roughly translates as 'kindred spirits' or 'two of a kind'. Made from late-harvested Chenin Blanc that is 'botrytised' by morning mists rolling off the river Layon, it is a classic Coteaux du Layon being sweet but also fresh and uplifting. With poached pear scents and a gently-honeyed orchard fruit palate, it makes a fine accompaniment to fruit-based desserts or salty blue cheeses. When the correct growing conditions prevail, Cyrille also produces his flagship 'Cuvée des Lys' bottling from fruit that is hand-harvested at optimum maturity. The finished wine has complex dried fruit and honeysuckle aromas and a rich concentrated palate of preserved peel, nuts and minerals. It drinks very well from release but can readily support 10-15 years bottle age.