2017 Richard Leroy, Les Noëls de Montbenault, Loire Valley, France
Wine • White

2017 Richard Leroy, Les Noëls de Montbenault, Loire Valley, France

We come together around the idea of saying “yes”: A small word that contains everything.

Richard Leroy is one of the greatest producers of dry chenin blanc in the world. He purchased Les Noels de Montbenault in 1996 with the intention of producing classic sweet chenin but, after tasting Mark Angeli’s early dry wines, Richard decided to devote himself to making a dry style Loire white. And history was made. Montbenault is a two-hectare vineyard with 40-year-old vines at the top of the slope leading down to the Layon river. The vineyards are made of a unique combination of schist and underlying volcanic rocks that bring a lovely combination of intensity and freshness to the wines. The vineyards are farmed devotionally using biodynamic methods and the vines are trained low so the fruit enjoys a slow maturation. In the cellar, natural fermentations are employed and no sulfur is used in the wines since 2011. Leroy’s minimalist approach has resulted in fruit of tremendous density combined with aromatics that seem to lilt and turn around the massive cores of the wines.


2017 Richard Leroy, Les Noëls de Montbenault, Loire Valley, France offers up a complex and detailed bouquet of quince paste, bee pollen, chestnut honey, yellow apple, chalky minerality, and white lilies. The wine is full bodied and finely structured and the acidity enlivens the aromatics and draws the finish invigoratingly on.

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