In a nutshell: Dry, vibrant, age-worthy, biodynamic Chenin Blanc from some quite superb vineyards.
The lowdown: Ronceray has no legal status in French wine law yet, this wine is technically labelled an Anjou Blanc. However this wine is made from grapes from the renowned Quarts de Charme Grand Cru appellation home to not only the world's greatest Chenin Blanc sweet wines, but quite simply some of the world's greatest sweet wines full stop. Owner Vanessa Cherruau, among a very small number of others, has decided to forgo the prestigious label for this wine and make what she wants, a rather brilliant dry Chenin from those same great vineyards, that same amazing terroir. Biodynamically farmed, hand harvested, and 30% matured in Burgundy barrels for 12 months. This is a vibrant wine full of life. A touch of spritz on the palate at first, fresh lemon, peach and stone fruit flavours with precise, crisp minerality, and a long finish. Thoroughly enjoyable now but with capacity to age.
When to drink: Drink now or keep 10 or more years. Enjoyable on its own or try with ceviche, sea bass tartare (Vanessa's recommendation), or shellfish.
Château de Plaisance is a 25 hectare estate in the heart of the Coteaux de Layon appellation and around this area some of the Loire's most sought after sweet wines are made. However the owner, Vanessa Cherruau, is pretty keen on producing top quality dry whites as well. She took over the estate from Guy Rochais in 2019 who, somewhat controversially, pioneered the making of dry wines from around here and she is very much on the same wavelength as her predecessor. The estate has been organic since 1995 and biodynamic since 2008. Chenin Blanc dominates the plantings throughout their vineyards which are sited in such famous places as Quarts de Chaume, Premier Cru Chaume and Savennières - pretty exalted terroir. They also produce a small amount of reds from Cabernet Franc and even a little Cabernet Sauvignon. Their dry wines have to be de-classified down to simple Anjou Blacnc because the likes of Quarts de Chaume are reserved for sweet wines only. But don't be deceived their Anjou Blanc wines are properly serious and deserve to be treated as such.