Château de Passavant is a family-owned estate in the upper Layon valley with a reputation for making bankably well-crafted Chenin. Passavant has been biodynamic since 2007 and Demeter-certified since 2011. Winemaking is done with as little intervention as possible. The wine is barrel-fermented with wild yeast, then aged in lightly toasted 450l barrels (20% new) for 18 months. Nothing is added (no sugar, no enzymes, no exotic chemicals with unpronounceable names) except a smidgen of sulphur (20mg/l) at bottling.
Passavant's Jarret de Montchenin is made from a selection of the best handpicked Chenin grapes (anything either green or botrytised is omitted), from its prized south east-facing schist slopes close to the river Layon. It's only produced in good vintages - there was none from 2010 to 2013, making the 2014 something of a rarity.
Beautiful nose, melon, citrus, sweet apple, lovely acidity and texture, concentrated, with very good length. This is serious wine. Generally 2014 produced wines with more energy and tension than either 2013 or 2015, suggesting the best wines would benefit from some laying down. Here at SWiG HQ we lapped up the sample sent by winemaker Olivier, however, with nary a thought for the future. If you can wait, give it six months to a year, although this is bound to evolve beautifully for a up to a decade.