Thomas Batardière L'Esprit Libre
Region: Loire Valley
Grapes: Chenin Blanc
Angers born Thomas Batardière began his career in wine in 2008, first working as a sommelier before gaining experience in winemaking with the famed Saumur estate Château Yvonne. He set up on his own in 2012 with 2 hectares of Chenin vines in Rablay-sur-Layon in 2012 where he neighbours perhaps the most famous Chenin Blanc producer of all, Richard Leroy.
L'Esprit Libre is from30-90 year old vines planted on a gravelly plateau of red sand, quartz and clay in L’Éspérance near Rablay-sur-Layon. Aged on the lees for about 9 months in stainless steel, this is more fruit-forward than Les Cocus but still linear and crisp with a strong saline backbone.