Domaine Belargus

  • Anjou, Loire, France
Domaine Belargus
  • This is one of the most spectacular new entries in the history of The Wine Advocate, and it makes the Loire, especially its tributary, Layon, one of the most fascinating terroirs in the Anjou region. Domaine Belargus is the name that should soon populate the world’s finest wine lists, especially since the prices are—still?—affordable." - Stephan Reinhardt

Belargus was birthed out of the wine estate of Jo Pithon, a legend in the Anjou, but reinvigorated by a man named Ivan Massonat who also owns part of Philippe Pacalet in Burgundy.  When Ivan purchased the estate, he set about to create a crack team to produce a stable of virtual Grand Cru wines in the Anjou.

The property is built around the most spectacular parcel of vines I’ve ever seen in the Loire, the famous Les Treilles hillside, a sort of Côte Rotie of the Loire, planted entirely to Chenin Blanc. In addition to the parcels already part of the former domaine, Ivan purchased a small parcel in Savennières, 1/3 of the Grand Cru of Quart de Chaume! (which they are mostly vinifying dry), and additional parcels adjacent to the famous monopole of Les Treilles.  The entire property is farmed biodynamically.  The property is 100% Chenin Blanc, with the vast majority vinified dry, even when coming from the Grand Cru of Quarts de Chaume. Here is a breakdown of the domaine’s parcels and the team behind it, by Jon David Headrick:

 

 

THE TERROIRS:
Les Treilles – A monopole of almost 10 hectares on extremely steep slopes, some as steep as 70 degrees.  The vines are planted on a combination of very old calcaire (much older than that found in the rest of the Loire) and schist.  It produces wines of extremely long aging and finish.

Bonnes Blanches – One of the most famous parcels in the Anjou owned by growers such as Pierre-Bise, Ogereau, Mosse, and others.  This is historically made into sweet wine, but Belargus vinifies it dry.

Quart de Chaume Grand Cru – Belargus own 10 hectares of this Grand Cru and vinifies it mostly into one of their top dry wines.  Stunning parcel, stunning wines.  This is separated into three separate parcels by exposition and soil type into four wines.

Ruchères in Savennières – This is at the bottom of Roches-aux-Moines, looking out over the Loire river.

 


THE TEAM:
Adrien Moreau – Winemaker.  Formerly at Cheval Blanc, Haut-Brion, Roederer.

Guy Bossard – Lead biodynamic consultant.  Most of you know the epic wines of Guy Bossard in Muscadet. He has been a pioneer of biodynamic farming in the region and has made some of the Loire’s most stunning wines.

Jo Pithon – Jo, the former owner of the estate, is now part of the team and is the resident historian of the various parcels farmed by Belargus.  Jo singlehandedly converted the monopole of Les Treilles from scrub bush to terraced vineyards.  It is the most stunning piece of land I’ve ever seen in the Loire outside of the possible exception of La Coulée de Serrant.

 

The estate is composed of 24 hectares farmed at extremely low yields (an average of 25 hl/ha instead of the normal 60 hl/ha.). The meticulous and perfect farming is equaled in the cellar, where winemaking is slow and unobtrusive. Fermentations are spontaneous and made in French wood, lasting from a week to many months, depending on the plot.

Image Producer PRODUCT Description Country / Region

DB3674-20
Biodynamic
WA:92-93 
Domaine Belargus Anjou Blanc "Anjou Noir"
2020
Chenin Blanc
Pure Chenin Blanc from mostly schist terroir (plus some pudding stone) in the village of Siant Lambert du Lattay. This is the only “village... Read More
France

DB3675-18
Biodynamic
DE:92 WA:94 WS:92 
Domaine Belargus Anjou Blanc "Ronceray"
2018
Chenin Blanc
Pure Chenin Blanc from the ensemble of the property’s holdings in the Grand Cru of Quarts de Chaume, the terrier is a blend of both schist... Read More
France

DB3759-18
Biodynamic
DE:97 WA:95 WS:93 
Domaine Belargus Anjou Blanc "Roueres"
2018
Chenin Blanc
Pure Chenin Blanc from one of the three original decreed parcels of the Quarts de Chaume, Rouères. This parcel is southeast-facing and just... Read More
France

DB3677-18
Biodynamic
DE:96 WA:97 WS:95 
Domaine Belargus Anjou Blanc "Treilles"
2018
Chenin Blanc
Pure Chenin Blanc from the 2.72 hectare monopole of the Coteau des Treilles. The “Côte-Rôtie” of the Loire was abandoned after WWII because... Read More
France

DB3809-18
Biodynamic
WS:93 
Domaine Belargus Savennières "Gaudrets"
2018
Chenin Blanc
Coming from several southeast-facing plots located high up the village on a plateau of aeolian sands and deep black schists.
France

DB3678-18
Biodynamic
DE:92 WA:96 WS:93 
Domaine Belargus Coteaux du Layon
2018
Chenin Blanc
Pure late-harvest Chenin Blanc from south-facing parcels bordering the Layon river. Harvested slightly earlier than most in the region to... Read More
France

DB3760-18
Biodynamic
DE:95 WA:99 
Domaine Belargus Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru "Quarts"
2018
Chenin Blanc
Les Quarts is the original plot that gave its name to the Quarts-de-Chaume appellation. The Quarts-de- Chaume terroir—a sunny, south-facing... Read More
France

DB3761-18
Biodynamic
WA:100 
Domaine Belargus Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru "Ultra"
2018
Chenin Blanc
A tribute to the famous Ambroisie by Jo Pithon, an over-concentrated Quarts-de-Chaume with more than 30 degrees potential at harvest,... Read More
France