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Loic Mahe (Savennieres / Loire Valley)

Savennières is one of a handful of truly exceptional Appellations in The Loire Valley, dedicated to the Chenin Blanc variety. And of all of them, it is without doubt the greatest when it comes to producing immensely powerful dry white wines.

Loïc Mahé was acutely aware of this fact when he began slowly constructing his Domaine in the year 2000, first by purchasing unplanted land within AOC Savennières, then purchasing significant old vine plantings, and finally an immaculate winery (Chateau la Franchaie) where all his wines are now calmly, carefully brought to life.

Everything was, of course, managed and certified organically from the outset, with the addition of Biodynamic philosophies and vineyard preparations.

Today, Loïc farms 11ha of Chenin Blanc, and a small plot of Cabernet Franc for red. But he is also gradually reducing his holdings, in a never-ending quest to improve quality, even at the expense of quantity. All of his vineyards are perfectly situated, all facing directly south on the gentle slopes above the escarpment north of the Loire River. The vineyards are predominantly blue and red schist (slate/shale) under very thin topsoils of wind-blown sands, along with some unique parcels on volcanic rock with high quartz and flint content.

Loic makes his wines slowly, naturally, always allowing the wines to take the time they need to ferment dry with their indigenous yeasts, happy sitting tranquilly in old oak barrels. The only addition is very small amounts of SO2 close to bottling.

The wines are ultra pure and mineral, yet always generous, not austere. It must be said that Savennières wines are sometimes marked by austerity, by an un-checked intensity and bitterness, especially when heavy handed vinification is employed with too much new oak (and probably too much SO2). But Loïc’s wines always retain a generosity to go with the fistful of shattered shale essence. They walk the line.

Loic Mahe - Savennieres Equilibre 2010
Loic Mahe - Savennieres Equilibre 2010

Loic Mahe - Savennieres Equilibre 2010