So, after a bit of back & forth among the group to decide on where to go, we ended up visiting 4 estates that were all superb!
Château des Fesles was first — I’ve had their Bonnezeaux before but not tried their dry Chenins. We were given tastes of about 10 wines in total and then a little tour of the winery. The dry Chenins were really good, especially for the price. Bought 2x 2007 and 2x 2012 dry Chenins (La Chapelle VV, AOC Anjou), plus a 2000 Bonnezaux and an absolute stunner — the 2014 Bonnezeaux Vin Rare.
Lunch in Angers followed by a trip to Nicolas Joly — what a stunning site! The long drive up to the house through the vineyard hills was beautiful, as was the house itself. 6 wines to taste through, bought a 2013 Clos de la Bergerie (AOC Savennières-Roche aux Moines, James’s choice) and a 2007 Clos de la Coulée de Serrant.
Then a short drive to Château d’Epiré – a recommendation from a friend who grew up in Angers. The winery is in the old village church, converted by adding in a floor so the wine can be pressed in the upper level and gravity fed into the lower level for vinification. Another lovely tasting, really good value stuff. We all chipped in for a few bottle of the Savennières Cuvée Spéciale (which everyone agreed was a really impressive wine — complex and intense, beautiful flavours) — so I got a bottle for myself and their Moelleux too.
We tried to go to Damien Laureau but they were closed, so I decide to try Domaine aux Moines instead — I don’t know why I hadn’t persuaded the gang to have it on the list in the first place, but as @JamesF experienced this was one of the best tastings I’ve ever had! The winemaker was wonderful, her mother was full of life, great wines (including a delightfully fresh & simple wine from her recently planted young vines — kept out of the main bottling until they are older). James (not usually a fan of sweeter wines) loved the Doux - Cuvée de l"Abbesse so we brought a bottle home, probably for consumption at Christmas. Another beautiful property too!
We had dinner at the Fontevraud Abbey — lovely food, amazing venue — the buildings were all open to explore, with some incredible art installations to discover — if you’re in the area I highly recommend it!