Aside from his passion, there was nothing to predispose Richard Leroy to become a winegrower (no wine producers in his family and a student of Economics) but in the middle of the 1990s he took on 2.7 hectares of vines in Rablay-sur-Layon. He used to produce sweet white wines under the Rablay-sur-Layon appellation and dry wines under the Anjou appellation but following serious disagreements with the INAO his cuvées have been reclassified under the Vin de France label. Yields are very low and only the best grapes are selected. The viticulture is, of course, organic and harvesting is done by hand. Sulphur levels have been reduced dramatically year after year. These wines are perhaps one of the finest expressions of the Chenin grape. They have also become an open secret, sought-after by connoisseurs all over the world. Unfortunately, production levels are negligible.
About the cuvée
Noëls de Montbenault is a saline and polished cuvée. It is one of the finest expressions of the Chenin grape and should be kept as an accompaniment to seafood dishes. In 2008, Richard Leroy began labelling this cuvée under the Vin de Pays designation.
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General : The «bio» designation covers certified wines produced by biodynamic or organic methods, sustainably produced wines, and «environmentally friendly» wines that are not officially certified. These designations apply to recent vintages (the date of certification, if known, is specified in the estate description). See the blog article for more information on this designation.
Biodynamic : The «biodynamic» designation is used for all estates certified as using biodynamic methods, as verified by one of the two official bodies, Demeter or Biodyvin. All wines produced by biodynamic methods are also certified as organic. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Organic : The «organic» designation covers all estates certified as using organic methods, as verified by one of the bodies approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, such as Ecocert. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Sustainable : The «sustainable» designation covers all estates certified as using integrated or High Environmental Value (level 3 Environmental Certification) techniques. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Evironmentally friendly : The «environmentally friendly» designation refers to estates practising environmentally friendly wine-growing techniques, but that have not opted for certification or who are still in the process of converting to organic agriculture or biodynamics. These estates may have adopted biodynamic principles (non-certified) or simply no longer use chemical products. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Natural : Wines which are produced without any added sulfur (or almost any) and with no other inputs. However, given that there is no official body to issue the natural wine label, it is based on winemakers’ statements. This designation applies to recent vintages.