I’m afraid I tend to treat Doué-la-Fontaine, on the border between Saumur and Anjou, as a series of roundabouts to negotiate when heading to or heading back from the Layon. Although it is the home of Moulin-Touchais, Doué-la-Fontaine is rather far from being one of the Loire’s well-known wine producing sites as it falls between two stools – the area around Saumur, especially Saumur-Champigny, down to Brézé and across to Le Puy Notre Dame. So I was very pleased to ‘discover’ Domaine du Pas St Martin at January’s MillésimeBio. I use ‘discover’ advisedly as the family (Charrier-Massoteau) records, going back to 1700, show that they have been involved in making wine since at least that time. Doubtless back then the family were involved in polyculture rather than specialising in wine.
‘Le domaine tire son nom de la Croix du Pas Saint Martin, petite construction de pierre élevée en bordure du bois de la pierre frite. Elle était au moyen âge, la dernière étape pour les pélerins de saint Jacques de Compostelle, avant l’arrivée dans la cité mariale du Puy Notre Dame.’
The domaine converted to organic viticulture in 1996 and today has 16 hectares of vines (a mix of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc) – some in AC Saumur (to the east of Doué) and some in AC Anjou. I was impressed by the wines I tasted and will have to try and fit in a visit to the domaine during 2015, so as to get to know the area around Doué a little better.
2014 Le Pierre Frite, Saumur
My notes (which I trust are accurate!) indicate that this had been bottled a couple of weeks before MillyBio. In a sec-tendre style with good texture and length.
2013 Jurassic, Saumur
Vinified and aged in old wood, very clean and pure.
2013 Le vent dans les saules, Anjou
From vines planted on schist, clean , some tension
2013 les milles rocs, Anjou
Some honey, weight and more concentration than Le vent dans les saules
2012 Le Pierre Frite, Saumur
Mid weight and texture, attractive easy drinking red, a touch herbal
2009 Les Charbonnières, Saumur
Rich concentration of fruit but a bit soupy
2011 Les Charbonnières, 2011
Attractively textured, better balance of fruit and acidity than in the 2009.
2009 Faucon Noir, Saumur
Named after Foulques Nera (Count d’Anjou), suitably dark, dense and concentrated, structure with tannic grip in finish – needs more time, although with food this would doubtless be different.
2011 Faucon Noir, Saumur
Again I preferred the 2011 to the 2009 Faucon liking its texture and finding it more expressive for the moment than the 09.