He likes Chenin, he likes white wines, Thomas. And that's just as well, because he has been living in Rablay-sur-Layon since 2011, and has joined the homeland of this versatile grape variety, and set up shop right next to a certain... Richard Leroy. Any resemblance between his wines and hers is obviously fortuitous...
|Cultivated grapes||Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Grolleau|
|Our favorites||Les Cocus, La Croix Hardie|
Rablay-sur-Layon, the famous village of a no less famous Richard Leroy... the name that one cannot help but evoke when speaking of Anjou, when speaking of Chenin, when speaking of the Loire. However, the name to remember now is Thomas Batardière, young guard of the appellation and neighbour of a certain Richard, in the heart of the village.
Born in Angers, Thomas studied anthropology and cinema, before starting a brief career as a film director. It was in Tours, working for a "natural" wine merchant, that he caught the virus and confirmed his change of life, at the end of the 2000s. He then trained in Beaune and was brought to work in Saumur, at Château Yvonne, alongside Mathieu Vallé, where he stayed for nearly three years, taking on all the roles in turn, from the vineyard to the cellar. Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, working in the vineyard, vinification, he learned the gestures and reflexes that would accompany him in his future installation.
In 2011, Thomas went into business for himself, buying two hectares of Chenin vines in Rablay-sur-Layon, converting the vineyard to organic and biodynamic farming, and in 2015, obtaining Demeter certification for all of his vines; the majority of which are Chenin, with a few acres of Cabernet Franc, recovered in 2014 in the heart of Rablay, and Grolleau. With nearly four hectares of vines today, Thomas does not wish to increase his surface area, in order to remain an "artisan-winemaker", on a human scale, and to be able to continue to take care of all the tasks alone, and remain as connected as possible to his grapes.
In the cellar, everything is "zero-zero", no additives, no oenology, just common sense and ripe grapes; the wines are vinified naturally, for fresh, lively and precise results. Whites, an orange, a rosé, a natural sparkling wine and even reds in years when the climate is not too capricious, Thomas explores the whole spectrum of free and lively wines, and all the versatility of Chenin, this beautiful grape variety.
These are great wines, which have already contributed and will continue to contribute to raising the colours of the appellation, an craft as we like it, to be followed closely.
Thomas' labels, so recognisable and beautiful that they are almost works of art in themselves, are the result of Anne Charrin's soft and precise brushstrokes.
Slight variations in colour from one label to another, but always the same spirit, the same line, a bit like the Chenin, the main thread of Thomas' work, expressed with subtle differences from one cuvée to another but with the same pattern, recognisable among a hundred...