Thibaud Boudignon | Anjou

Riverside vineyards in Anjou, Loire Valley

Thibaud Boudignon's wine journey started in Bordeaux, at Chateau Lafite Rothschild (amongst others) before a spell in Burgundy, where he worked with Philippe Charlopin in Gevrey Chambertin. In 2009, he settled in the Loire Valley buying land in Anjou and renting one vineyard in Savennières. He has since built his reputation around the world with a string of steely releases and is now held up as one of the most sought- after producers in the whole of the Loire Valley. If ever a man could be said to be doing for Anjou what Didier Dagueneau did for Sauvignon Blanc, Thibaud is that man.

His original Savennières, Les Fougerais, is no longer, however, in place come three, soon to be four, single vineyard cuvées that are set to secure Thibaud’s place as the leading light in this historic appellation too. From these historically significant vineyards Thibaud is now crafting strikingly individual wines; Chenin Blancs of rare clarity and incision.

Clos de Fremine, planted just below the winery in Poisonnière produces the most floral, delicate, aromatic cuvée, though one with a subtle and surprising line of steel running through it. Vignes Cendreés comes from the village of Savennières itself where the greater clay content in the soils produces the most Burgundian wine in the line-up, muscled Chenin with a plump midriff of fruit around intense acidity and concentrated minerality. In Clos de la Hutte, Thibaud has set about bringing one of the region’s finest vineyards back to prominence, a vineyard on a par with Coulee de Sérrant and Roche aux Moines. Sitting on pure schist, planted to a diverse selection of different Chenin Blanc clones, it offers huge complexity and power but also remarkable finesse and harmony.

A new cellar, built in 2016, adjacent to Clos de la Hutte, has given Thibaud’s wines a new level of precision, while a move towards picking very slightly later is making his wines feel even more complete. Ageing takes place in a mixture of 350, 600 and 1200 litre barrels, with less and less new oak being employed across the range. The results are thrilling, age-worthy Chenin Blancs beloved by sommeliers around the world; at the last count Thibaud Boudignon wines were found on no less than 19 of France’s three Michelin restaurants.