Domaine Antoine Sanzay
My introduction to Antoine Sanzay came after La Dive Bouteille in 2017, when we were at the local wine bar La Tonelle drinking the local wines of Saumur (Loire Valley, just South/Southeast of Anjou where Domaine Mosse are located). We tried a few different Chenins and Cab Francs with the notable highlight being a bottle of Clos Rougeard, and then a bottle from Antoine Sanzay was put on the table. The wine was equally impressive and everyone was really taken aback. No one had heard of Antoine or knew of his wines, but it was a London wine bar owner Michael Sager who then went to explain it was a recent find of his. Afterward I dug deeper, and later found out this relatively new producer happened to have 4 hectares right beside the Loire Valley legend Clos Rougeard! Then I dug some more.
Antoine Sanzay is relatively new for the Loire. He took over his family estate in 1999, where his father was a grower for the local co-op, and took a different path. He exited the supply contracts and started his own label by 2002. He grew his production further and now grows, owns and controls 11 hectares including 4 hectares at Les Poyeux right beside Clos Rougeard.
Antoine’s mentors are the Foucault brothers (Clos Rougeard) and also Thierry Germain (Domaine Les Roches Neuves - Antoine is located at 19 Rue des Roches Neuves, after all) and this is evident in the wines. He farms everything organically and he generally vinifies his wines traditionally (that is to destem by hand, ferment in concrete and age in an old, cold cellar dug deep into the chalk hillside... he does have a few concrete eggs and wooden cuves too though! The wines are bottled unfiltered and unfined (and with just a small amount of sulphur to guarantee perfection) and they are always aged in bottle until ready for release. Here, in late 2020, we are presenting his 2018 wines; Antoine’s only Chenin Blanc, and two of his Cabernet Francs. Please note, Les Poyeux is offered only to me after buying Antoine’s wines for a few more years, so don’t ask just yet!
These are wines of tremendous quality and polish. They are varietally and regionally true in every way, and he is a great translator of soil and site. Antoine is a winemaker obsessed with making wines worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as his mentors. I am over the moon to finally be sharing them with you. We received just 5 cases of Les Salles Martin, his Chenin Blanc, and 5 cases too of La Haye Dampierre, a small parcel of Cabernet Franc that Antoine has been working since 2013.