Abel Benmaamar looks after 4 hectares of vines in the commune of Martigné-Briand. This is an area of Anjou in the loire valley famous for producing the greatest chenin on earth, where the black schist soils produce wines with a unique depth, smokiness and minerality. Abel’s Chenin is what you might expect from a top dry anjou chenin made from organic grapes and minimal intervention in the cellar, it’s got energy and deep appley/quincy flavours. Aswell as Chenin, Abel also makes an incredible Cabernet Franc called ‘Plume’ which reminded us of some of our favourite chinon wines, rocky and juicy but with serious layers. You can drink them right away but they age very slowly, the ‘Keith Richards of wine’.
'Complex Chenin and multidimensional Cab Franc'
Abel came into the wine world a little later than most growers but has already gained plenty of experience working at top domaines such as Thillardon in Beaujolais and Patrick Corbineau in the Loire. In 2018 he got his chance to make the very best chenin & cab franc in Anjou when he was able to take over some vines at Julien Delrieu’s Les Roches Sèches, which have been certified organic since 2010. Abel’s sites typically have old vines, produce low yields, are full of biodiversity, are are worked without chemicals which along with his meticulous approach in the winery, make this one of the most exciting new domaines in the Anjou.