In a nutshell: Fresh, juicy, elegant biodynamic Cabernet blend from the heart of Anjou.
The lowdown: A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (not that common in the Loire) and Cabernet Franc from a rather special area, the Butte de Charme, famous for its world class sweet wines. Vanessa Cherruau's Chateau de Plaisance only have a few hectares of red grape vines and they are probably the only ones in the appellation, so this is rather rare and a bit special. They make fantastic still dry wines working to biodynamic principles in this small sweet wine renowned area of Anjou in the Loire, and has very successfully proved that you can do so, though they still need to be labelled 'Anjou' rather than the more illustrious 'Charme'. Fresh, floral red berry notes on the nose lead onto a fresh and grippy medium-bodied palate with blackcurrant notes, touches of spice and herbs, and a clean finish.
When to drink: This is a great little wine that would work perfectly with charcuterie, spicy tapas, or lamb dishes.
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.