Dominique Simon, ex-Sommelier of Bouley restaurant and owner of The Wine List (a New York Boutique wine importer/distributor), is a rather discreet guy, who always brings me well crafted, authentic wines from small, artisanal producers. And recently, he passed by with a producer from Anjou, Yves Matignon and his daughter Lucile, who were visiting New York for the time.
Sister and brother, Hélène and Yves Matignon are the owners of Domaine Matignon, a small estate in Anjou, nestled in Martigné-Briand, a small village about 33 kilometers south of Angers, the capital of the Anjou region, and about 30 kilometers west of Saumur, on the southern bank of the Loire River.
Domaine Matignon has been a family-run estate for the past 3 generations. It covers 38 hectares of vineyards planted on diverse types of soil and Terroir. All work in the vineyard and the cellar is done under sustainable culture system, or "lutte raisonnée". Driven by the same passion, Hélène and Yves Matignon do everything themselves. All their wines are grown, produced and nurtured naturally at the property by their own care.
They produce about 10 wines:
- White: Anjou Blanc, Coteaux du Layon, Chardonnay, Saumur Méthode Traditionnelle and Sauvignon
- Rosé: Carbernet d'Anjou, Rosé de Loire
- Rouge: Anjou Rouge, Anjou Villages and Rouge Plaisir
We tasted 3 of their wines:
2008 Domaine de Matignon Anjou Rouge Loire Valley France
Suggested retail price $10-$13
Imported / distributed by The Wine List in NYC
Made with 100% Cabernet Franc vinified in stainless steel tank, 2008 Domaine Matignon Anjou Rouge is very soft, elegant, with great acidity, lovely texture and balance. Following the fresh red fruit aromas of the nose, similar flavors gently expand toward the earthy, smoky finish. Nicely made. A solid and reliable, juicy Anjou rouge at $12, to drink young, within the next 2-3 years after bottling, and to pair with pretty much everything.
One may find trace of green and vegetal hints, which are classic, Terroir oriented characteristics of Loire Valley reds, especially when partly or fully crafted with Cabernet Franc or Grolleau. They are not defaults, but add crispiness and raciness to the overall profile of the wine; especially when combined with high, integrated and focus acidity, which nicely enhances the fruit and is definitely wanted.
2004 Domaine de Matignon Anjou Villages Rouge Loire Valley France
Suggested retail price $16-$18
Imported / distributed by The Wine List in NYC
Also made from 100% Cabernet Franc, yet from older vines, Anjou Villages is generally a wine of choice with very good ageing potential (7-10 years after bottling). And this one is no exception to the rule. Robust, structured and harmonious, after fermentation, it was aged at least for 9 months in oak vats or barrels (en fût de chêne).
Despite a certain age, the 2004 Domaine de Matignon Anjou Villages Rouge has a youthful attitude and profile, offering lovely texture and structure maintaining the wine toward a fairly long finish. The nose and palate, despite the fruit flavors, also have green and vegetal notes and nuances, like asparagus and green pepper, but nothing off putting or surprising for red Loire Valley drinkers, and very typical to Cabernet Franc. I found it excellent and still quite young and vibrant despite its age.
Another proof that, atop the quality and maturity of the fruit, acidity and tannins are key components to the longevity and ageing potential of a wine. Fuller and more complex than the regular Anjou Rouge, served at room temperature (14/15 ° Celsius), it will go wonderfully with red meats, game and cheeses.
We also tasted the 2009 Anjou Rouge, but I found it too young and somewhat astringent for now, aside of the good ripeness of the fruit conferred by the quality of this particular vintage.
Thank you Yves and Lucile (and Hélène) for your visit and thank you for your wines. Keep up the good job!
LeDom du Vin
For more info go to winery website at http://www.domaine-matignon.fr
Step into the Green! Drink more Biodynamic, Biologique and Organic wines and spirits and food) from sustainable culture and respect the environment! Support the right causes for the Planet and all the people suffering all around the globe! Also follow projects and products from the Fair Trade, an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. Also support 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that donate at least 1% of their annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide. "Commerce Equitable" or "Fair Trade" is evidently and more than ever a needed movement connecting producers and customers, to be aware of others and their cultural and traditional products based on high quality, natural components and craftsmanship.