The wines of Les Sablonnettes are back. 13 hectares of soft schist soil, a copse of maples, and a fringe of shrubs define their territory in the heart of the Coteaux du Layon AOC, where they’ve been producing a vibrant selection of living wines for over 30 years, long before the phrase “natural wine” existed.

You’ll find the word ‘funambule’ (tightrope walker) often used by Les Sablonnettes. This is because high-quality wine-making without additives is a very fine balancing act. Like the tightrope walker’s balancing pole, Les Sablonnettes have a sensible grasp of their guiding instrument: the robust vine branch that determines each step of the wine-making process. Rigorous and passionate, Jéremy is meticulous in his practice of biodynamic methods, remaining constantly attuned to the natural variations of the harvest each year – always with stunning results.

Some of the vines here are over 120 years old, and all the grapes are harvested by hand. No artificial yeasts or sugars are ever added. And the wines are unfiltered. The red, Ménard le Rouge (named after Auguste Ménard, the family’s first winemaker) is a continuation of his radical spirit – the wine is made by taking grapes in whole bunches, which are layered in the tank by variety: first goes the Chenin; then, after a week, the Cabernet Sauvignon; and finally a layer of Gamay. As you might expect, the result is truly unique: a wine which proclaims itself ‘a loosener of tongues, and a builder of bonds’, a millefeuille of some of the Loire valley’s most loved varieties.

If you’re already familiar with Domaine des Sablonnettes, then we needn’t say much. And if you’re a newcomer to the domaine, it’s our pleasure to welcome you. In any case, there’s every reason to be as excited as we are for this latest arrival.