Born in 1980 in Angers, Thomas Batardière got bitten by the wine bug in 2008 following a degree in anthropology and a job as a cinematographer. Thomas is a doer, he does not stand still, voluble and passionate he worked as a sommelier at first, and then feeling the need of getting closer to wine, he joined Château Yvonne in Saumur, quickly becoming Mathieu Vallée’s right-hand man (whilst studying agriculture in Beaune!). Thomas has a very individual take on Chenin, he loves its finesse, acidity and ability to reflect terroirs, picking it early (ideally with 12.5% alcohol potential and yields at 30 to 40hh), and fermenting as well as ageing in small stainless steel tanks to preserve purity. He aims at making zero-sulphur wines, rarely racking and working reductively on the lees – a tricky exercise and a theme often debated with Richard.
Most of the 30 to 90 year old vines are in the lieu-dit L’Éspérance near Rablay-Sur-Layon, next to the Domaine des Sablonettes (Jérémy Ménard and Thomas are mates regularly helping each other) on a gravelly plateau of red sand, quartz and clay. Thomas prefers stainless steel to accentuate Chenin's natural tension, a judicious choice in the recent hot vintages. This wine aged on fine lees without sulphur until bottling in the summer. It is fruit-forward but still bright and crisp with a strong saline stamp.