We were blown away by this unique, unoaked Anjou Chenin which was heavily inspired by winemaker Olivier Lejeune's time spent training in New Zealand. It is fresh and vibrant, leaping out of the glass with notes of stone fruit and citrus, salty minerality and smoked almonds. A wine all about purity of fruit and incredible energy.
The name 'Whaka Piripiri Mai' translates from Maori to 'assemble' or 'coming together', and references the blending of two special parcels of Chenin Blanc to create this final wine. It also nods to the combination of Olivier's French culture with his adopted, second home of New Zealand.
Clos des Plantes is an exciting project driven by the skilled, young winemaker Olivier Lejeune in Anjou. After training in New Zealand, including a long stint at Felton Road in Central Otago, Olivier returned to his native France to work with Mark Angeli; arguably one of the great masters of Loire Chenin, alongside Clos Rougeard, Richard Leroy, Domaine Huet and their contemporaries. This could not be more evident in his own wines. His Chenins in particular are remarkable. Grown on the black schist soils that Richard Leroy favours (Olivier's wines draw a wonderful comparison to his too), these are crystalline, intensely flavoured expressions with abundant age-ability. His Cabernet Franc/ Chenin blend is also entirely worth drinking, providing a fresh take on these iconic Loire grapes.