Domaine Regnier David is a small domaine in the central Loire AOC of Saumur that was established in 1962 by Maurice Regnier. Maurice started by purchasing about 5 acres in Saumur and soon after converting to organic farming practices, which back in the 70's were still pretty radical. In 2002 Maurice passed on his responsibilities to his 20 year old son Jean Francois. Jean Francois continued on the course set by his father and employs only natural yeasts for fermentation, ferments in cement, and uses heritage massal selection vines in replanting his vineyards.
The cuvee Guichardiere comes from a 1 hectare vineyard planted back in 2000. The vineyard was planted with cuttings from Domaine Huet. The Cuvee de la Guichardiere is hand harvested, finishes fermentation in old oak casks, and then rests on the lees for 24 months. Only 225 cases are made.
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Aroma: Jean Francois' Saumur has a rich substantial aroma that immediately pulls me in. There's honey, wild flower, caramel, ripe apple, and pineapple all there in the glass. I don't say "bursting" or "leaping" because it's not that kind of wine; the Guichardiere Saumur isn't that high strung. The aroma of this Chenin isn't inviting: it's beguiling and seducing, but it's a wine that seems to be relaxed in everything it does. The aromas here are more savory, rich, deep, and kind of primal as opposed to the more frenetic Vouvray secs and lighter modern Saumurs I've had.
Yes, I am a wine geek. And I'm a sucker for these gorgeous Loire Chenins
Look at that golden color!
Palate: This. This is it. This is exactly what I imagine when I dream of sexy, serious, old school Chenin Blanc. Regnier David's Saumur is fun and playful, but there's so much depth and flesh to it. This Chenin has just the right amount of buxom honeyed flavors and toasted vanilla from some traditional barrel aging, matched perfectly in step to slightly salty minerality. The finish is so long and deep. This is a warm comforting autumn white if I ever had one. Excuse me, I'm going to go get some Stilton now.
This Saumur is a fantastic and gorgeous Chenin Blanc. Wines this good, this integrated, this deep are rare. Considering how only a couple hundred cases are made this won't be available forever. The Regnier David Saumur Cuvee de la Guichardiere is about $22 and is available at Lois's Natural Foods, Blue Hill Wine Shop, Meridians in Fairfield, Lily Lupine and Fern, and Rosemont Munjoy Hill.