On a very snowy day in the winter of 2019, we were lucky enough to host Marie Thibault (and Frantz Saumon) in DC. The shop had literally just opened and we nervously tried to ensure that her first trip to the US was a success. Since then, we've drank with her in France, much of our staff has crashed at her house, and many of us have enjoyed a cellar tour and dinner at her estate in Azay-le-Rideau. She is kind, generous, and smart, and her wines are stunning.
Marie began her career working for Domaine François Chidaine in Montlouis-sur-Loire, and in 2011 purchased her own plot of four hectares in Azay-le-Rideau. It has old vines grown on white clay, with silex and limestone bedrock, and was certified organic in 2014. She started out the estate with a tiny cellar but by the 2019 harvest had moved into a larger space: a cave carved into the hillside outside of Tours, where there's enough space for both Marie and Frantz to make wine in one place.
Her latest release includes the Premier Nez Chenin 2018 and Grolleau 2019. The Premier Nez Chenin is an ethereal, brilliant wine that spends up to 18 months in elevage and was bottled in December of 2019. We can't wait to finally share this wine again, as we believe Marie's Chenin is firmly in the category of the great white wines of the Loire Valley. The Grolleau was macerated on the skins for 10 days (one day settling), then pressed and racked into old concrete tanks from Beaujolais. Crunchy , juicy purple fruit.
There are few producers, if any, that mean more to us than Marie. Her wines are terroir expressive and toe the line between strength and elegance, just like their maker.