The Pinon home in the Vallée de Cousse

2018 Vouvray "Goutte D'Or" from Domaine Pinon! (first since 1990)  2018 "Frizzante" (?) and 1990 "Goutte D'Or!!"

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It's an historic moment (for Vouvray, anyway) as Julien Pinon has just released the 2018 "Goutte D'Or" produced by Julien and his father François - the first time it has been made since 1990!

On the Pinon website (French version) Julien simply says "Goutte d'or 2018: Raisins séchés par le vent et le soleil. (Grapes dried by the wind and the sun.) This rather modest statement describes one of the great sweet wines of the Loire, rivalling the "Goutte D'Or" of Foreau and the "Cuvée Constance " of Huet.

The grapes were harvested in one pass on October 26th in the "L'Arpent" parcel of 55 year-old vines on clay over lower turonian limestone, facing south-west, with yields of 15 hl/ha. "We have been able to make this cuvee only three tines in our history," says Julien, "in 1989, 1990 and 2018. It requires extreme weather conditions which make it exceptional." The fermentation lasted from the end of October to the begnning of January, with only wild yeasts "which participate in the expression of terroir." Two hundred 750 ml bottles were produced, there will be another release in 500 ml. (123 grams per liter residual sugar, 11.8% alcohol.)

François and Julien Pinon

During our first visit to the estate in 1981, François' parents kindly offerred us a glass of 1959 moelleux - this beautiful experience led us to bring the wines to NY through our friends at Louis/Dressner Selections beginning in the early 1990s, Francois having taken over in 1987. This has been a very special relationship for us at Chambers Street and we are thrilled to have received a small allocation of the 2018 Goutte D'Or in 750 ml bottles.

And what is the 2018 Vouvray "Frizzante?" During the bottling of the Goutte D'Or, yeasts were able to enter some of the bottles causing a slight refermentation. These slightly fizzy mistakes were put aside, but subsequent tastings revealed a delightful, barely petillant, very unusual and quite delicious sweet wine that the Pinons decided to share with their customers. We're very glad they did!

In addition to the 2018 "Goutte D'Or" and "Frizzante," Julien sent us 12 btls of the gorgeous 1990 "Goutte D'Or" which has been resting happily in the Pinon's cold cellar for the last 33 years.

We're also happy to offer the importer's last inventory of the beautiful 2018 "Silex Noir." This superb demi-sec is delicious now and will cellar for 30 years or more.

(Goutte D'Or and Frizzante are net priced, arrival approximately Jan 9th. Remaining wines are in stock and discount 10% on a 12 btl purchase.)

Pinon, François 2018 Vouvray Goutte d'Or 750ml

"Goutte d'or 2018, Raisins séchés par le vent et le soleil" The grapes were harvested in one pass on October 26th in the "L'Arpent" parcel of 55 year-old vines on clay over lower turonian limestone, facing south-west, with yields of 15 hl/ha. "We have been able to make this cuvee only three tines in our history," says Julien, "in 1989, 1990 and 2018. It requires extreme weather conditions which make it exceptional." The fermentation lasted from the end of October to the begnning of January, with only wild yeasts "which participate in the expression of terroir." Two hundred 750 ml bottles were produced, there will be another release in 500 ml. (123 grams per liter residual sugar, 11.8% alcohol.)

  • white sweet
  • 10 in stock
  • $83.99

  • Organic

Pinon, François 2018 Vouvray Frizzante 500ml

This is a unique and very unusual sweet Vouvray, as descibed by Chris Kissack in The Wine Doctor: "Poured from a 50cl bottle, this presents a modest golden hue, it not yet having taken on the rich patina of age. The nose is gloriously fresh yet clearly richly concentrated, with layers of pressed apple, sweet peach and redcurrants, with light veins of black tea leaf, herbal tea and smoke, some of which suggest a healthy botrytis infection. While the nose speaks softly of freshness, the palate drives this home with a fresh and forceful conviction. Here it marries sweet peach and confit apple with a vivacious streak of acidity which gives this a brilliant sense of energy. Of course, the question you are asking is this; is it sparkling? No, not really. There is just a faint prickle of carbon dioxide to it, the subtle not-quite-pétillance you find if you taste a young wine at the end of the malolactic fermentation, and as a consequence I think Frizzante is a good choice of name for this cuvée (you certainly would not call it pétillant or mousseux). This little prickle works rather well, alongside the acidity, it balancing the wine’s dense and concentrated sweetness, which dances in a light-footed style across the palate, leading to a long and confident finish. All in all, this is a quite remarkable wine. Curious, but remarkable all the same. And a recommendation from me. The alcohol on the label 13.5%"

  • white sweet
  • 5 in stock
  • $54.99

  • Organic

Pinon, François 1990 Vouvray Goutte d'Or 750ml

1990 was the second of two hot, dry years in the Loire, permitting the production of beautiful sweet wines from very late-harvested grapes. Generally speaking, the 1989s showed a bit more acidity, due to more moisture in the soil from the previous year, while the 1990s were a bit fatter and riper. Francois Pinon made a brilliant 1990 Goutte D'Or as we see in the review from our friend John Gilman in The View from the Cellar:  "I had never previously tasted the 1990 Vouvray “la Goutte d’Or” from Domaine François Pinon and this has to be one of my absolutely favorite wines from the vintage! This is not as heavily botrytized as say, the 1990 la Goutte d’Or from Domaine Foreau, but it is so deep, intensely flavored and precise that it has to be ranked at that same exalted level, despite it not being as rich and powerful. In fact, this has more of a 1989 character than a 1990 one, which is as high a praise as I can come up with for Vouvray, as 1989 is unequivocally my favorite vintage in the Touraine in the last forty years! The wine offers up a stunningly beautiful and vibrant bouquet of apricot, tangerine, tea leaves, salty soil tones, barley sugar and a topnote of orange peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and laser-like in its focus, with a great core, bright, zesty acids and stunning complexity and balance on the refined and endless finish. Sheer brilliance! (Drink between 2019-2070)"

  • white sweet
  • 2 in stock
  • no discount
  • $149.99

  • Organic

Pinon 2022 Vouvray Les Déronnières

The grapes for "Les Déronnières" from Julien Pinon (first made in 2014)  used to be included in the Silex Noir, but this wonderful vineyard, the Pinon's best parcel on a hill-top directly above their cellar, much deserves to be bottled on its own.  The very thin topsoil is clay with silex over Turonian limestone, and the beautiful exposure gives ripe fruit that is normally vinified as a demi-sec, but in recent vintages the RS level has been below 10 gr/l making it dry, in Vouvray anyway. The 2022 finished with just 1 gram RS and 4.5 grams acidity, making this bone-dry but dense and beautifully balanced "Deronnieres" showing elegant aromas of lime-flower, dried pear, lemon zest and stones. The palate is very dense and ripe, saline and mineral with round white fruits, citrus and herbal notes with fabulous length. A great dry Vouvray with fantastic minerality which is a versatile "food wine" to enjoy now, but don't forget that this wine will age forever....save some for the next generation!

  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic

Pinon 2022 Vouvray Sec

100% Chenin Blanc. Pinon chooses vines from more clay-forward parcels for its annual sec bottling. They average 45 years old and have been certified organic since 2007. The bunches are harvested by hand, rigorously sorted and direct-pressed slowly and gently. The juice flows by gravity into underground tanks for a spontaneous native-yeast fermentation that lasts 2-3 months and stops naturally in the cold cellar. The wine is aged on its fine lees for 4-5 months in a range of old oak, from 500-liter demi-muids to 20-hectoliter foudres. The 2022 Sec is indeed very dry with 2 grams/liter RS and  a brisk 4.6 grams acidity, and shows aromas of citrus confit, almond, green tea, stone, anise and white fruits. The palate has vibrant acidity with saline mineral flavors, and good density, with green apple and lemon zest, finishing with firm acidity, citrus, apple and wet stone. Give this young wine some aeration (!) or a few years in the cellar then serve with shellfish and oysters, grilled fish, vegetable terrines, seafood choucroute, rillons and rillettes (you may have to go to Touraine for those..) And try to hide some for 20 years or more as we've tasted 40 to 50 year-old Pinon Sec that was fantastic.

  • white
  • 20 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
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Pinon 2018 Vouvray Silex Noir

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.)

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic

Pinon 2020 Vouvray Les Trois Argiles

The 2020 Pinon Vouvray "Les Trois Argiles" is from average 40 year old vines in three east facing parcels, Mortier, Vau Cheavreau and Les Fosses Rouges. The soils are shallow clay and sandy clay over the limestone (lower Turonien). Many old vines remain, planted by Julien's great-graandfather, Camille, and new plantings are done by massale-selection. Organic farming, of course, with manual harvesting in successive "tries" sorted by hand to select the best grapes, vinification in barrel with wild yeasts, aging in barrel or foudre with minimal racking or SO2. The clay soils usually give a denser and less aromatic wine wine than those from silex soils, capable of aging for 30 years or more. As we have been friends of the Pinons for more than 40 years, and are somewhat biased in our enthusiasm for their wines, we will let Loire expert Chris Kissack (the Wine Doctor) describe the 2020 "Les Trois Argiles:"  "It does not seem so expressive on the nose today though (compared to the Silex Noir) but the palate is much more convincing. It shows a dense and compact character, with a rich core of extract and dense fruit, layers of white peach and orange peel, fragrant but solidly compacted, lifted only by the vigorous acids and bright mineral veins I find cutting through the middle. A great demi-sec, with confident and forceful structure, which needs time to come out of its shell. The residual sugar is 20 g/l, and the alcohol is 13.4%."  2020 was the last vintage produced by Francois and Julien together. Francois always felt that their vineyards, being slightly higher and cooler than most of Vouvray, produced grapes with slightly more acidity, that benefitted from the presence of residual sugar. The 2020 "Trois Argiles" might be called Sec-Tendre or Demi-Sec, but at any rate, it's a magnifient wine!  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic

Pinon 2020 Vouvray 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 - 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

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic