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Domaine Leduc-Frouin, Anjou

We met with Madame Leduc early in our wine travels – and more by happenchance than design. Having been thoroughly disgruntled by a Loire negociant who was only interested in selling cheap sweet rose to the English, we found we had time on our hands and an almost forgotten introduction to this vineyard from a French-Canadian mutual acquaintance.
Domaine Leduc-Frouin la Seigneurie, Anjou
A warm welcome and good interesting wines greeted us, and we have been fans ever since. Nowadays Madame Leduc’s son and daughter (Antoine and Nathalie) have come back home to help Chantal run the vineyard, which has a very good local reputation – Antoine in the vines and cellar, Nathalie in the business and marketing side. With Madame Leduc’s extensive knowledge of her vines, Antoine’s passion and Nathalie’s organisational skills the domaine goes from strength to strength.

South of the Angers and the Loire river, near Martigne-Briand in the heart of the Anjou and Coteaux du Layon appellations, the domaine is situated at Sousigné. The domaine produces Anjou red, Anjou-Villages red, Anjou Blanc Sec (dry white), a Chardonnay, Cabernet d’Anjou, Rosé d’Anjou, Rosé de Loire, Coteaux du Layon (dessert wine) and sparking Saumur.

Visitors are always welcome – but do phone ahead in case they are busy in the cellar or vines.

“La Seigneurie”
was the property of the Marquis de Becquedelivière until 1933 when the Leduc-Frouin family, who had cultivated it since 1873, became the owners. The vineyard has been using “natural” techniques for over 4 years now with a regime known as “Terra Vitis” – a charter for production which respects both the soil and the vine.
The domaine is run by Madame Leduc, her son, Antoine and his sister Nathalie – in the village of Sousigné to the east of Martigné-Briand and south of Angers.

The domaine is quite a beauty-spot with remains of numerous troglodyte dwellings dug out of the sedimentary rock.The 32 hectare vineyard itself is situated on a gently-rising slope facing south. For reds the Cabernet Franc and Grolleau grapes are grown, whilst for the whites it is predominantly Chenin Blanc with a small amount of Chardonnay.
All harvesting is undertaken by hand (about 30 people are required) enabling careful selection and cutting of the bunches.

For the white wines a delicate pressing is undertaken as soon as the grapes arrive in the cellar. The temperature during fermentation is kept between 15o and 20o. Rosé wines are obtained by a brief maceration of the skins for between 24 and 36 hours. For red wines the bunches are de-stemmed followed by maceration for a period of 10-15 days. The juice is pumped over daily to ensure that the maximum extract.

Anjou AC Rouge Domaine Leduc-Frouin
extraordinarliy fresh and fruity – tons of raspberry juiciness make this a delightful red and great example of a different style of Cabernet Franc than the 1998 vintage which we also listed. Significantly, this wine is made under the names of Antione & Nathalie Leduc – the younger generation – although the nature of the vintage is probably more significant, as Nathalie and Antoine have been actively involved in the domaine for many years.

Anjou-Villages AC Rouge Domaine Leduc-Frouin
This is an excellent example of Cabernet Franc – the red grape of the Loire. With some bottle age and older vines,the ripe raspberry fruitiness is blending wonderfully with the tannins to produce a seriously good wine with great depth and complexity – great with roast lamb!
“A light spicy aroma leads to a palate of blackcurrant fruits and ripe tannins”
Only Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are used – Cabernet Franc for elegance and smoothness, Cabernet Sauvignon, harvested from vines on stony hot soils, is responsible for the wines’ structure and tannins.
It is clear from its garnet red and intense colour that this is a fine wine of rich complexity, Its distinctive nose – the Cabernet Franc providing notes of violet, iris, strawberry and raspberry, combines with the Cabernet Sauvignon from which it takes its powerful aromas of blackcurrants and dewberries. The wine-making process and its maturing for at least 12 months in oak, result in a wine with smooth tannins, rich in substance and enabling it to age up to 15 years.

Cabernet d’Anjou AC Domaine Leduc-Frouin
Rose wine from Domaine Leduc-FrouinA rich, sweeter rosé with delicate acidity and buckets of summerfruit flavours (Loire). This is not one of those indifferent Loire rosés we used to find in the supermarket – this has tons of character and a multiplicity of flavours AND, although sweetish, it is not a cloying sugary sweetness – more the natural sweetness of summer fruits. Don’t disregard it as a “wine for granny” (although Grannies will enjoy it I’m sure) – try it with spicy, exotic foods such as Thai or Chinese dishes where the flavours will both enhance and contrast with the wine.
UK Wines Online says “A blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The climate during 2003 has brought plenty of colour to this rosé; even with just 2 days maceration (colour extraction). Sweeter grapes too has boosted this wine, which, as Antoine Leduc stated is “fruity, sweet and fresh”. Quite light in body and very drinkable. While medium in style the touch of tannin on the finish gives the wine more substance than many a cheaper alternative.

Domaine Leduc-Frouin, Sousigne, 48540 Martigne-Briand (see map)

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