Eric and Marc Taillandier, Domaine Taillandier  (1992)  

The Taillandiers are an old Savennières family, although the latest generation’s adventure into wine begins only in 1992 with brothers, Eric and Marc. Their grandfather, a veteran of the Great War, tended vines here but had given up being a vigneron to establish a vine nursery in the village. This business still exists today under the ownership of the brothers’ uncle, Michel. For the past 15 years, they have been bringing to life land owned by the family that had been abandoned, and today they farm a total of eleven hectares over six different parcels, including a newly planted site in La Roche aux Moines. In addition to their holdings in Savennières, they have also bought five hectares in the Layon around Beaulieu-sur-Layon and Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay. The cellar, situated in Beaulieu, resembles a cow shed.

Wine Overview:
Despite the various options in terms of sites available to the Taillandiers, there has, until recently, been a single cuvée released from the domaine. Concrete tanks are used for fermentation, and they rely on indigenous yeasts, and ageing on lees to increase complexity. Eric is against chaptalisation, malolactic fermentation and the ageing of Savennières in wood, so the wines remain for one year in tank before bottling without filtration. Given the style, they demand a decade of maturation in bottle in order to soften. The conditions of the 2002 and 2003 vintages allowed the Taillandier’s to make two sweeter wines released as ‘Prestige’ and ‘Sélection’. The total production is around 25,000 bottles a year.   

The Wines:  
The Taillandier wines are about as authentic a style produced in the appellation during the 1960s and 1970s as one could expect to find. These are not pretty wines, full of edges and corners, but come with noticeably lower alcohol and a structure that has more in common with Mosel Riesling than many modern examples of Savennières. Neither are they particularly commercial, but they have the virtue of honesty and one has to respect the uncompromising attitude of the Taillandiers who continue to eschew the trend towards producing earlier drinking wines.

2006 Savennières  
Polished. Pale green appearance. Very lean and green nose. Taut and closed. Faintly resinous with some Riesling-like terpine notes. Chalky, greengage flavours. Tight and youthful. This really needs time. (02/08)

2006 Savennières ‘Cuvée 2’  
Pale green appearance. Riper nose but delicate and retains the nose of greengages and green fruits. Richer and more forward, although still very youthful. The distinguishing difference to the above wine comes with the 8 g/l residual sugar that shows on the palate, balanced by intense passion fruit-like acidity. A bit pithy and tannic on the finish. Needs time. 02/08)

2005 Savennières  
Polished. Pale green/straw appearance. Relatively ripe for the Taillandier style, but with an underlying austerity. Good weight on the palate and shows some ripeness. Austere, but correct. Bone dry with very fresh chalky acidity to the finish. This is approachable, but really needs time to show its worth. (02/08)

2004 Savennières  
Polished. Pale with green hints. Clean, polished, fresh and focused mineral nose with a distinctly lean and green expression. The profile of the palate is very similar, with a question mark over the overall ripeness. This is bone dry, very mineral and lean. It really needs time to fatten out. (02/08)

2003 ‘Sélection des Grains’  
Pale. Green hints. Ripe acacia-like, but retains a youthful and linear nose. Rich on entry and shows some residual sugar (65g/l), but balanced by good fresh acidity. This is still very fresh with a toasty, marshmallow-like flavour. Still youthful and would benefit with further keeping. (02/08)

2002 ‘Prestige – Tris de Vendanges’  
Passillerage affected fruit. Mid-pale. Distinct green hints. Very clean, but still quite tight. Good richness on the palate with a distinct green edge. Well textured. Linear, with very fresh, clean acidity. Delicate. Long finish. Drinking now, but should age further. Belies the 45 g/l residual sugar. (02/08)

1996 ‘Vendange Manuelle’  
Very pale. Green hints. Very attractive floral, open and delicate nose with Riesling like minerality. Well focused. Linear edge, but lacks a little flesh on the mid palate. Very delicate with a structure and juicy acidity with the chalky, slate-like minerality of Riesling. Authentic. Drinking now, but has the ability to age further. (04/06)

Eric Taillandier  
Domaine Taillandier  
T/F: +33 2 41 72 23 70  

erictaillandier@hotmail.com

 

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