The Château Soucherie may be the most physically beautiful property of all the domaines with which Rosenthal works. The house itself is a unique architectural gem that sits on a rise overlooking the vineyards that snake down towards the Layon River. Around the Château, 22 hectares are located on a south-facing hillside shale and sheltered from the north winds. Château Soucherie is surrounded by the villages of Rochefort-sur-Loire, Beaulieu-sur-Layon and Saint Lambert du Lattay. The soils are principally limestone, clay and schist.
Among the estate vines, Chenin represents the majority and is expressed alone and without blending through the Anjou Blanc and the Coteaux du Layon. For the Anjou Rouge and Anjou Villages, Cabernet Franc is grown on the hillsides. The very local and amazing Grolleau brings fruity roundness to the rosés and forms part of our Rouge Carmen blend where Gamay also surprises with its crispness and freshness. Four of the estate’s thirty-six hectares are situated in the prime vineyard of Chaume, this sweet wine whose fresh finish is so typical of the Loire Valley. The vines here are over 70 years old and their deep roots enable them to bring forth all the richness of this complex soil. Then two hectares are in Savennières in a single-vineyard known as “Clos des Perrieres.” On this sloping plot, outcrops of shale rock bring a fine minerality to the wine.
Roger Beguinot’s assistant, the Maître de Chai, is the young Thibaud Boudignon who is leading the charge towards 100% organic viticulture through the principles of integrated agriculture. All the work of the vineyards is done manually: from stripping to budding, and from tying to harvesting. For sweet wines: the grapes are picked selectively, only 100% botrytis (natural concentration) and not chaptalised (no sugar added). The white wines are vinified and aged in oak barrels. Nothing is left to chance, the origin of the wood (Allier, Tronçais forest, Nièvre, etc.), the type of heating and the expertise of the cooper are chosen in accordance with the type of wine and the nature of the soil.
The New York Times: The Thinking Person's White Wine