Les Roches Seches was launched in 2010 when Julien Delrieu, Thibaut Ducleux, and Jean-Marie Brousset realized on their common dream and acquired 15 hectares in the heart of the Anjou. With distinct terroirs and diversity of varieties, they have been making a number of different cuvees over the years from Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Grolleau as they’ve honed their craft and converted their land to all organic farming.
Their main vineyard parcels are on an array of different soil types: Les Varrens and La Guimardiere boast Chenin Blanc mainly, and a small dollop of Chardonnay, on schist; Le Jean, also schist, is planted to Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc; Les Essards which is a mix of clay, limestone and sand is exclusively Grolleau; Les St. Martin with its gravelly composition plays host to Cabernet Franc and Grolleau; and lastly (although I may have forgotten something), Cabernet Sauvignon from the schist of Taille Mouche. Truly a dizzying array, which makes it a challenge as, you sit with these three savants and they are firing at you all the details of each wine.
Each of these vineyard sites boasts vines that range anywhere from 25 to 60 years old. After a hand harvest and delicate handling from vineyard to cellar, they ferment each variety on a site separately in cement tank or stainless steel with only natural yeasts. A single variety, single terroir philosophy handled with as little intervention or manipulation as possible. Natural winemaking if you will, but they do add sulfur to a number of their wines in limited amounts to preserve freshness and add a touch of stability to those that they feel need it to keep them from being “too natural.” If you’ve tasted your share of “natural wines” you know what they are getting at. If oak is used for aging, it’s always older, in the two to six season range.
We mentioned in the tasting note for the Chenin Blanc Les Varrens the Winedoctor Chris Kissack’s thoughts about what’s going on at Les Roches Seches, when he drew a comparison to the wines of Richard Leroy. If you know Chenin Blanc, you know Richard Leroy and he’s might good company in which to find yourself.
We agree with the Winedoctor! Nice work guys! Keep it up! We are excited to have joined you on your journey.