2017 Domaine Agnes & Rene Mosse Nostromo
Agnès and René Mosse live and work in the village of St-Lambert-du-Lattay, in the Coteaux-du-Layon area of Anjou. The Layon is a small tributary to the Loire that lazily digs its way through well exposed and drained hills of schist and sandstone. Its micro-climate allows for a long hang-time, and when the mornings are foggy in the fall, with no rain, botrytis develops easily on the Chenin grapes.
Previously, the Mosse had owned a wine-bar/wine retail in Tours, and they credit the great vignerons they met there, among them Jo Pithon and François Chidaine, as the impetus to become winemakers. They studied viticulture and oenology at the agricultural lycée in Amboise where two of their teachers were Thierry Puzelat (Clos du Tue Boeuf) and Christian Chaussard (Domaine le Briseau).
They spent two years working in Côte-de-Beaune, then bought the estate in St-Lambert in 1999. They work 17HA of vines, most of them planted with Chenin blanc (9HA), and Cabernets franc and sauvignon (3HA), the rest is planted with Gamay, Chardonnay, Grolleau Gris and Noir.
They adopted organic viticulture techniques from the start, plowing between and under the rows, and use biodynamic preparations to treat the vines and soil. In their area of Anjou Noir (Black Anjou, so called because of the dark color of the soils of slate and volcanic rocks), the soils are shallow, with subsoils of schist and sandstone, and varying amounts of clay on the surface.
With all the efforts put into vineyard work, it is equally important to them to vinify in a natural fashion, and they are particularly attentive to minimizing manipulations and the use of sulfur. All the wines are barrel-fermented and aged, and usually the whites go through their malolactic fermentation. The barrels are renewed as needed: they are containers, not oak flavor providers.