When it is young, the Coteaux-du-Layon's colour is pale green and then evolves to an amber colour. This white wine has a very varied aromatic potential from one parcel to another. The nose is intense with notes of honey, acacia, quince, lemongrass and candied fruits. On the palate, it is round, smooth and delicate, like velvet! Its ageing potential is from five years to several decades for the finest vintages.
Although the Coteaux-du-Layon appellation officially appeared on February 18, 1950, the area has been exploited earlier. Indeed, it was the Dutch who developed the wine trade in this part of France. Since then, the Coteaux-du-Layon has not stopped gaining notoriety.
The Coteaux-du-Layon appellation in a few words
In 1579, merchants from Holland channelled a Loire tributary, the Layon. By doing so, they developed the Layon wine trade. The latter are appreciated because they have a strong ageing potential and can be transported over long distances.
The AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) is located in the south-east of the Armorican Massif on the left bank of the Loire River. The production area is distinguished by its sweet and syrupy wines.
The winegrowers lay out the grape varieties on shallow, stony soils. The latter have the particularity of warming up quickly. The appellation's terroir is largely made of schist. In some areas of the production area, it is siliceous or clayey. The climate crossing the AOC is a temperate oceanic climate. Winters are mild and rainy.
The best description of the Coteaux-du-Layon vineyard
The vineyard covers 1,400 hectares. It is made of 27 communes, including those of Brigné, Tancoigné, Tigné and Trémont. Some areas of the appellation produce very sweet harvests. Their production bears the appellation Coteaux-du-Layon associated with the name of the commune. For example Beaulieu-sur-Layon or Rochefort-sur-Loire.
Coteaux-du-Layon wines are made from Chenin. This is the only grape variety authorised in the production area. The harvest in this part of France is carried out manually and with a successive sorting. They are done as soon as the grapes are over-ripe. Each year, the vineyard produces 39,300 hectolitres of wine, i.e. 5,240,000 bottles.
Characteristics of the Coteaux-du-Layon appellation
Coteaux-du-Layon wines have a beautiful golden yellow colour with green reflections. Grape varieties touched by noble rot produce wines with an amber hue. They also have bronze orange reflections when they age.
When tasted, these reds have an excellent balance between softness and acidity. They also have a mint or liquorice taste.
On the nose, the wines of the appellation develop different aromas depending on their age. The ones that are between 5 and 10 years old are distinguished by scents of white flowers and fruit of the same colour. Depending on the type of soil on which the grape varieties grow, the drinks have a taste of citrus fruits, dried fruits or exotic fruits. Some of them also develop scents of iodine or rock oil.
When Coteaux-du-Layon wines reach maturity, the floral scents dissipate. Sometimes woody, dried and candied fruit or bergamot notes appear. Remember these specificities when buying Coteaux-du-Layon wines.
To find out more about the AOC, visit some of their vineyards. The Domaine du Petit Clocher welcomes you in Anjou. During your visit, the owners of the premises will inform you about their processes and sustainable agriculture.
You can also visit the Pithon-Paillé estate. Created in 2008, this 9 hectare vineyard will surprise you. And for a good reason, the winegrowers only work the chenin. And to obtain outstanding wines, they only use environmental friendly techniques. Moreover, they pay particular attention to the terroir and opt for organic farming.
By visiting different areas, you will learn a lot about the appellation. And on site, you will be able to buy Coteaux-du-Layon wines directly while benefiting from the advice of the producers.