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The Return to Schist

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Higher Ed

The Return to Schist

To recap from last month: The penultimate white grape of the Loire, contrary to popular belief, is not sauvignon blanc, but the other blanc: chenin.

That late ripening grape flourishes in Anjou’s two habitats: the white (limestone) and the black (schist). If you’re like Michel Bettane you might despise the ones from the schist. If you’re more like Pascaline Lepeltier and myself, we go equally for both. Those from limestone seem more angular—because the soil may help them resist the edge-smoothing malo. On schist, where the wines tend to naturally go through the malo, the wines are rounder. But that’s a simplification and the other nuances need to be examined.