Mai et Kenji Hodgson

Loire

Japanese-born Mai and Canadian-born Kenji arrived in France in 2009 with temporary tourist and work visas. They had both previously worked at wineries in Canada and Japan but meeting Olivier Cousin and Marc Angeli gave them a whole new perspective on winemaking. Mai & Kenji decided to settle in France after which things gained momentum. With the encouragement and support of several local farmers in Anjou, they made their first vintage in 2010.

Today, they own about 4.5 acres, which are cultivated with tremendous care and lots of manual labor. The work in the cellar is very low-tech and carried out by trusting that patience always gives better results in the long run than attempts at unnecessary intervention. Spontaneous fermentation, zero fining and filtration and absolutely no added sulphur are all a matter of course for Mai & Kenji.

Mai et Kenji Hodgson’s wines often need to be stored in the bottle for a long time before finding their right balance, but we now have so much experience with their wines that we can say with great confidence that the balance always occurs, and when it does, the result is nothing less than magical. Their Cabernet Franc is at once rustic and untamed, but at the same time extremely elegant and balanced. Their Chenin Blanc takes notoriously long to finish fermenting and is in most vintages a study in a technically imperfect wine that achieves perfection by virtue of its balance between all its sub-elements. But first and foremost, the wines are always vibrating full of energy while showing great complexity and enormous drinkability.

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