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Grapes at Domaine Leduc-Frouin

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Domaine Leduc-Frouin, Anjou – new website


My friends at Domaine Leduc-Frouin in Anjou are rightly pleased with their new website at We at ALLEZ VINS! worked with firstly Chantal, and then her son Antoine for many years – starting in 1989. Two friends and I were on a long wine buying trip around Alsace, Beaujolais and the Loire, and our pre-arranged visit to the Loire was a great disappointment – insipid sweet rose and overpriced bubbly. By chance I recalled another contact I had been given by a French-Canadian wine grower, so we dropped in on Domaine Leduc-Frouin. We were warmly welcomed, but clearly we were being vetted by Madame to see if we were serious or not. From that first visit followed many others, and many orders for their Anjou Blanc Sec, Chardonnay, Anjou Rouge, Anjou-Villages and the stunning Coteaux du Layon.
The domaine is pretty but workmanlike, although they are developing the tufa caves where they age some of their barrel-matured wines.Situated at Sousigne, near Martigne-Briand (49 Maine-et-Loire, Loire Valley) about 20 miles south of Angers they are at the heart of the wine-growing area, which includes the treasured valley of the Layon river. The Coteaux du Layon is a rich dessert wine made from pure Chenin Blanc which unlike the dessert wines in Aquitaine (Sauternes, Saussignac, Monbazillac etc) is not affected by botrytis, although the grapes are late harvested to optimise the concentration of the sugars.
The Anjou reds are predominantly from Cabernet Franc, which can be a difficult grape, but in the better years the Domaine produces some excellently fruity, raspberry reds which are delightful.
In the summer of 2004 Antoine Leduc came over to the UK and hosted a tutored wine-tasting for Allez Vins! customers in Harrogate, and joined the Allez Vins! stand at the Harrogate Wine Fair. The tutored tasting was a huge success, as it is seldom possible to have an informed tasting of these quality wines. Supermarket versions, when available, are often rather bland, whereas Domaine Leduc-Frouin’s are always full of character and style.
Antoine, his sister Nathalie and mother Chantal are charming people and always provide a warm welcome – so it is worth a visit to the domaine if you are in the area.

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