Domaine Aux Moines, Savennières Roche aux Moines (Loire Valley, France) 2019

($48):  Savennières Roche aux Moines is one of two crus of the greater Savennières appellation (the other is Coulée de Serrant). Though the tiny area (80 acres) has been known for distinctive wines since the 12th century, it received its own appellation, carved out of the broader Savennières, in 2011.  It takes its name from the monks who planted the vines — Monks’ Rock. The appellation regulations, get this, prohibit the use of chemical herbicides during farming.  Indeed, most producers here, such as Domaine aux Moines, are organic and that domaine is working towards biodynamic certification.  Wines from Savennières Roche aux Moines, like all the wines from Savennières, must be made from Chenin Blanc and can be either dry or sweet.  This one is cutting, clean and precise, combining the barest hint of fruitiness with striking minerality.  With good weight and density, it shows the heights Chenin Blanc can achieve in the right hands when planted in a uniquely favorable spot.  It has a real presence and great length.  It would be an ideal choice for thick slab of grilled swordfish.
95 Michael Apstein May 24, 2022