Leaving behind their life in Paris, Richard and Sophie purchased 2ha of vines (Les Noëls de Montbenault) back in 1996, initially with the idea of making botrytized, noble rot wines. 1996 and 1997 were successful but a rainy autumn in 1998 put paid to any chances of noble rot and Richard produced no wine at all. Tasting in the area, he noted that Mark Angéli had produced beautiful dry wines in 1998, and he began to think that making dry wines from this exceptional terroir was the only way to make a living on a regular basis. He made his last sweet wine in 2005 and has since concentrated on making two exceptional dry whites from his tiny 2.7ha.
Everything that Richard does is a result of hard-earned experience and starting from scratch, he had no pre-conceptions. He and Sophie are real wine lovers, tasting and drinking widely from all around the world, sharing with other growers, friends and customers alike, and looking to learn from everything they do and everyone they meet in their work.
Richard has always worked with micro levels of sulphur (10mg/l until 2010) but such is the density and structure in his wines that he decided to cut sulphur out altogether from 2011. Comparing his wine in barrels bought from new with the same wine in barrels bought second-hand – and impregnated with sulphur from previous uses – he noticed an extra level of purity and finesse in the wines aged in new barrels that convinced him this was the only viable option. He now ages all his wines in barrels bought new – which he keeps for up to 7-8 years – from tonneliers who can guarantee the neutrality of flavour and aromatics.
Richard's wines just get better and better to the point where he is recognised as one of the master vignerons of the Loire, creating even more demand for his wines.
The vines here are planted in soils developed over the eroded base of an ancient volcano on the plateau of a windy ridge of hills overlooking the river Layon. Harvested from only ripe grapes (any botrytised grapes were individually cut out) and fermented dry, the wine has a sumptuous concentration on the palate, with a hint of quince and a notable mineral (irony) flavour. Just 4,000 bottles produced in 2016 (and no Rouliers due to frost which ravaged lower lying vines). Rich but balanced and very long on the finish, this is an exceptional wine, it will just need some time in bottle to unwind. No sulphur at all from 2011. VLQ. For drinking now to 2026+.
There is no minimum order for delivery
We deliver free to postcodes: NW2 NW3 NW6 NW8 NW10 W9 W10 above £100. There is a £5 charge for orders below £100
STANDARD UK POSTCODES £10 per drop for purchases below £250
For deliveries outside of the UK Please contact the shop via email or phone get a quote for delivery.
Please select the most suitable delivery option for your purchase at checkout.
IF YOU DO NOT SELECT THE CORRECT OPTION AT CHECKOUT WE WILL CONTACT YOU AND THIS MAY DELAY YOUR ORDER.
We reserve the the right to contact you prior to order confirmation if your delivery falls into one of the areas not covered by our standard delivery charges to organise any surplus charges to be paid for in advance of delivery.
We use a combination of our own delivery van and UK parcel companies for delivery, if you have a preference regarding timescales or carrier, please get in touch before placing your order.
We endeavour always to ensure you receive the wine you have ordered in perfect condition. However there are the odd times when things don’t go to plan - So:
Please contact us immediately should your delivery arrive missing items or containing the wrong bottles. We will send replacements for any items which have not arrived. Please contact us within 48 hours of your parcel arriving as we cannot offer replacements after this time.
We want you to enjoy the wines you have purchased from us. If you find you have bought a case and find the first bottle is not for you we are happy to exchange the wines for something else. All we ask is that you cover the delivery costs for return of the old wine and sending of the new bottles. Please advise of any returns within 14 days of receiving the wines, we are unable to accept after this point.
Sadly, from time to times bottles will develop faults. If you think your wine is corked, oxidised or otherwise faulty please contact us to discuss. We are unable to offer refunds for bottles which have been out of the shop longer than two months as storage conditions are out of our control.
Quick note on Fine Wine purchasing.
When ordering that special bottle of wine it is worth doing a little research before making a purchase. Wine is a living product, which goes through changes and stages of development in the bottle, as well as varying between vintages. If you are considering ordering an older vintage we recommend speaking to a member of staff or using a review site like cellartracker.com to try and get as full a picture as possible of the flavour profile and development of the bottle you are considering.
It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years.