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Domaine François and Julien Pinon
The hard work and deep intelligence of François Pinon transformed this domaine into one of the most important and most respected properties in Vouvray. François' son, Julien, is very capably continuing the great efforts of his father. 2021 was a difficult year for Julien as the horrible frost in April destroyed 95% of his crop. 2022 will be a happier story and we look forward to tasting what Julien will create in what appears to be an excellent vintage in the Loire.
In the meantime we are very excited to have three of the estate's brilliant 2018s back in stock, newly arrived from the Pinon's cellar and drinking beautifully! And of course the wines will benefit from long-term cellaring as well...
We're happy to feature new vintages of the Pinon's beautiful Vouvray Brut and Brut Non-Dosé, which are certainly among the very finest sparkling wines of the appellation.
Unlke most growers in Vouvray who use young vines for their sparkling wines, the Pinons use 45 year-old vines on good terroir and do successive pickings and rigorous sorting to make sure that the grapes are fully ripe and in perfect condidition. The Vouvray Brut, which is lovely in 2019, receives a dosage of 10 g/l, while the Non-Dosé (Brut Nature in Champagne) receives none and is a sensational ripe and complex Brut that will cellar for 30 years. (We tasted a 1976 Brut at about 35 years of age that was astounding, and to this taster, better than most mature Champagnes.)
And Introducing the 2020 "Buvez du Bon Pinon!" From the estate's website: "This is the renaissance of a cuvée created by my great-grandfather - a dry wine from our oldest parcel, planted in 1945 on soils of silex noir and vinfied in our oldest foudres - old 'tonneaux' from Porto purchased by my grandfather. We're using the label from the 1950s as well as the name of the cuvée and the famous 'Buvéz du Bon Pinon.' The fermentation lasted 2 to 3 months with only wild yeasts, which participate in the effect of 'terroir.' The fermentation was stopped by chilling the juice, followed by a soutirage, the wine then aged for 5 months in the old tonneaux. Aging potential of 15 to 20 years, serve with shellfish, oysters, cold fish, vegetable terrines, choucroute de la mer, rillettes and rillons." 7 grams/liter RS, 13.5% alcohol.
The Pinon's estate is at a higher elevation in Vallée de Cousse, than Huet and Foreau for example thus with cooler temperatures and a bit more acidity in the wines. François picked later and preferred to have 10 to 25 g/L residual sugar in his wines to balance the acidity. The estate's vineyards are on soft lower Turonian limestone (or marl) which in some vineyards have worn away over the last 90 or so million years to reveal veins of black flint ("silex."), others have a thick layer of clay over the limestone. The "Déronnieres" and "Silex Noir" cuvées are from the flint terroirs, the "Trois Argiles" and Sec are from clay terroirs.
These are superb wines from a wonderful family that we have had the honor of knowing since 1981. The wines are very highly recommended!
The wines have arrived in NY! Please allow 5 days before pick-up or shipping. 10% case/mixed case discount applies, except to sparkling wines.
This classic dry Chenin is the perfect sparkling wine for Thanksgiving! The Chenin's of Pinon are some of the best in Vouvray due to their impeccable farming, diversity of clay, limestone, and silex soils, and deliberate, albeit low-intervention, cellar work. The Vouvray Brut comes from 45 year-old vines that are hand-harvested during the first pass of the season. It is made in the traditional method with two to three years resting on the lees before disgorgement with a 6 g/l dosage. The 2019 Brut is a delightful wine showing elegant aromas of quince, pear, brioche, citrus and mint, bright and fresh, but with more ripeness and density in this excellent vintage. The palate shows an elegant mousse with superb density and weight, with flavors of white fruits, quince, peach and honey with firm chalky acidity, and finishing with white fruit, almond and mineral notes, quite clean and refreshing. Lovely wine, and capable of long aging. (Please serve in a white wine glass, not a flute, in order to enjoy the complex aromas...)
François and Julien Pinon make some of the finest sparkling wines in the Loire Valley. The superb Brut Non-Dosé comes from 45 year-old Chenin Blanc vines on Turonien limestone with topsoils of clay with silex, from four parcels; Les Haut de Terne, Les Hauts de Mortiers, Chopet and Les Planches Favettes. The 2018 was hand-harvested in three passes in order to select the best grapes, with two additional selections - on a "table de tri" and again before the press. Thus the best and ripest grapes are selected, enabling this cuvée with no addition of sugar, as in a Champagne Brut Nature. Aged sur-lies for more than 3 years. This beautiful wine shows elegant aromas of ripe white and yellow fruits, floral and earthy with almond and bitter lemon. The palate is creamy and dense, round and ripe but with firm underlying acidity, with almond, earth and mineral notes lingering in the long finish. Enjoy it now for its beautiful depth and balance, but peak drinking will be 2032 - 2050. A profound Chamapgne of Chenin! David Lillie
From the estate's website: "This is the renaissance of a cuvée created by my great-grandfather - a dry wine from our oldest parcel, planted in 1945 on soils of silex noir and vinfied in our oldest foudres - old 'tonneaux' from Porto purchased by my grandfather. We're using the label from the 1950s as well as the name of the cuvée - the famous 'Buvéz du Bon Pinon.' The fermentation lasted 2 to 3 months with only wild yeasts, which participate in the effect of 'terroir.' The fermentation was stopped by chilling the juice, followed by a soutirage, the wine then aged for 5 months in the old tonneaux. Aging potential of 15 to 20 years, serve with shellfish, oysters, cold fish, vegetable terrines, choucroute de la mer, rillettes and rillons." 7 grams/liter RS, 13.5% alcohol. This superb and elegant Vouvray is quite a contrast from the more open and expressive 2020 Sec. The "Buvez du Bon Pinon" is all elegance and depth, but quite closed, and just slightly opening on day two. The aromas are deep and creamy with subtle white peach, quince, earth, almond and stone, really needs time... The palate is dense and full with white and yellow fruits blending with earth, almond, anise and mineral notes. The wine is showing density and perfect balance but will need many years to really emerge - like the Huet Le Mont Sec, for example, give it ten years before drinking if possible - or a 12 hour decant if drinking now. Of course it's delicious today but try to wait... David Lillie
A beautiful Vouvray Sec from our friends Julien and François Pinon, which rarely makes its way to the US. The 2018 is a bit riper than usual at 9 grams/liter RS, with bright aromas of lemon zest, stone, quince and honeysuckle. There is very firm acidity on the palate with citrus, stone, pine, earth and bitter almond with terrific structure and length. This should ideally be decanted or opened in advance if drinking now, and will be lovely in 10 years, or 20 years... David Lillie
(Arrives Friday 3/24) Our friends Francois and Julien Pinon produce sensational Vouvray at their estate in Vallée du Cousse and the 2018 Silex Noir is another superb example. From approximatley 40 year-old vines on soils of clay and flint over limestone in the vineyards of Terné and Batailleries. The wine shows beautiful aromas of white fruits, citrus, wildflowers earth and honey. Chalky white fruits, earth, lemon and stone on the palate with a creamy texture typical of 2018, with nice finishing acidity and mineral flavors. A bit of residual sugar brings out all the best in this lovely Chenin Blanc, delicious now - decant a few hours in advance if possible - or cellar 20 to 30 years. Serve with rillettes and rillons, fish in sauce, lobster, langoustines and scallops, chicken in cream sauce, too. (26 g/L RS, 4.1 g/L total acid.)
(last of stock) Another outstanding Vouvray from our friends François and Julien Pinon in Vallée de Cousse, the 2018 "Trois Argiles" shows subtle, complex aromas of lemon, pear, earth, lime-flower, wet stone and almond. There is a hint of sweetness on the palate, perfectly balanced with firm acidity, with mineral flavors, white fruits, lemon peel and herbal notes. The finish is very long with citrusy acids and saline minerals. This is a beautiful young Vouvray that is delicious now with fish or chicken in sauce, Asian cuisnes, vegetable patés, asparagus and mild cheeses. This will gain complexity and become dryer with age, drink at least until 2050. 22 gr/liter RS., 4.1 g/L total acid. David Lillie