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Anjou

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AOC/AOP by decree dated 31st December 1957, amended 15th November 2011

Vineyard

Location The Anjou appellation area extends across 128 communes in Maine-et-Loire, 14 in Deux Sèvres and 9 in Vienne. The Anjou regional AOC also includes a number of sub-regional and communal AOCs.

Vineyard area

Reds: 920 ha (plus 60 ha for Anjou Gamay). Whites: 500 ha.
Anjou Pétillant and Anjou Mousseux (or ‘Fines Bulles’) sparkling wines: 80 ha.

History The monasteries played a major role in helping to develop the Anjou vineyards, as each had its own enclosed plot of vines. When Henry Plantagenet became King Henry II of England in 1154, the royal court  began  to  serve  Anjou wines , and continued to do so even after his death – so for nearly a thousand years, the crowned heads of France and England had a part in boosting recognition of Loire Valley wines. As  a result, the vineyards expanded during the 16th and 17th centuries from their original location on the banks of the Loire further towards its tributaries

Soils The appellation area comprises two distinct regions:

  • Anjou Noir, or ‘Anjou sur Schistes’  on  the dark, schist based soil of the south-eastern edge   of the Massif Armoricain,- the larger of the areas;
  • Anjou Blanc, or ‘Anjou sur Tuffeau,’  a smaller area of lighter-colored soils – altered chalk (tuffeau) at the south western extremity of the Paris Basin.

Climate Temperate oceanic; mainly dry with minor variations in temperature – the proverbial “douceur angevine” the mild tranquillity of Anjou.

Wine

Average annual production over the last 5 years 70,400 hl.

Reds 47,300 hl,
Whites 19,000 hl,
Sparkling wine 4,100 hl.

Base yield 60 hl/ha pour Anjou white and red, 67 hl/ha for sparkling.

Grape varieties
Red: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon,
Pineau d’Aunis and Grolleau (10% maximum) or 100 % Gamay for Anjou Gamay.
White: Chenin (80 % minimum), Sauvignon, Chardonnay

Growing practices
Planting density: 4,000-5,000 vines per hectare Pruning: single or double guyot.

 

Tasting Notes

Red
Ruby red in colour, elegant aromas of red fruit and flowers (iris and violet). Fresh on the palate with fine tannins. Serve at 16-17°C.
Anjou Gamay: Fresh and supple with aromas of red fruit and white flowers. Made to be enjoyed young when vinified as a primeur. Serve at 14°-15°.

White
Golden yellow in colour, ranging from pale to intense; concentrated nose of honey and apricot (from schist soils) or florals (Sauvignon and/or Chardonnay); elegant, velvety mouthfeel. Serve at 10°C (6° for sparkling wines).

 

Food Pairings

Reds: white meats, charcuterie, stuffed baked vegetables and mushrooms.
Whites: Lobster, scallops, turbot, vegetable casserole, chicken with wild mushrooms and cream, lamb tagine.

Aging potential

Most Anjou  AOC  wines  are best drunk within 2 to 3 years, while primeur wines should be enjoyed before their first summer.

 
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