Pierre Plouzeau was a visionary man who, in his all-too-short life, created a negociant business like no other while running his own two domaines as well. His sons, François and Marc, are worthy successors, both firmly committed to the rigorous joys of bio-dynamic farming. Marc, who took over the family’s historic Chinon property, Ch. de la Bonnelière, also functions as a négociant, working with a small number of top-quality growers to produce a range of dependable Loire classics.
The uncanny resemblance to the long admired Ch. de la Bonnelière is not coincidental. Brilliant old-vines, bigtime Chinon from a landmark vintage. Drink now or keep 20 years.
As always, the Chinon terroir yields a wine long on minerality that transcends the Sauvignon (whereas Delaunay’s example, for instance, exalts it). Unapologetically dry and serious wine for rock-hounds. Good with oysters.
The future is here with this absurdly cheap, delicious and classic Chinon. Two “Bag-in-Box” per unit, containing 5L each.
This is a high-toned, silky wine that walks a thrilling tightrope between pleasure and seriousness. Exceptional concentration, good grip and a compelling black licorice finish.
The ever-restless Marc bought another estate in 2014 near Ligré. Les Lisons is a 2.5 hectare parcel grown on clay soils, a fact to which this wine’s rugged strength is testimony. The sanguine, iron-rich palate is a distinctive and contrasting expression of Chinon’s possibilities, but Marc’s sure hand eliminates any hint of coarseness. This is a really exceptional wine at a price that is frankly silly for the elevated quality. We see a sunny future for La Croix Marie.
You will not be disappointed by the latest vintage of this perennial success, with its pale colour, cool Cabernet expression and authentic Loire puckerishness.
Those who followed the long-running Devants de la Bonnelière Touraine Rosé will know what a deft hand Marc has with rosé wine. This latest example is a step-up appellation-wise and offers the familiar thrill of Cabernet Franc gone pink. Poised between earth and fruit, it presents a drier, tangier and arguably more food-friendly rendition of the genre than is typical in France.