We met Thomas in early 2023 at a small fair that our friend Noëlla Morantin was helping to host in Thésée; we were immediately wowed by the varying styles of Chenin Blanc that he poured for us that day. It was clear from the outset that these were special, thoughtfully-made wines, so from an annual production of just 8000 bottles, we feel very fortunate we’ve been able to start working with Thomas and get a small selection over to our railway arch in Leeds.
First up, Thomas is making exactly the kind of taut, electric Chenin that we adore. If you’re a fan of the grape, you’ll know what we mean. He is doing so in the heart of Vouvray, middle-Loire, but, owing to a strange rule of the appellation system (of which there are many) he is not permitted to describe his wines as such. The reason is because his cellar sits a few hundred metres outside of the denominated border of the AOC, in Nazelles, so as the grapes must be taken there to be turned into wine, Vouvray it is not, apparently. Would Thomas work within the appellation if he found another cellar? Most likely not; ‘Vin de France’ allows him the freedom to make wine as he wishes. Plus he really likes his cellar just where it is. But the story fits nicely with his overall ethos, and goes some way to explain why a grower might choose an alternate path.