Brothers Clement and Florent Pinard are two of the Loire’s finest producers. In their hands, Sauvignon Blanc takes on a far more intricate and impressive feel than its ubiquitous status as a variety would suggest. The brothers leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of brilliance: green harvesting, hand-picking, sorting fastidiously, vinifying by vineyard, using their old wild yeast strains and employing large oak barrels for elevage – many of them now from the illustrious Stockinger cooperage. The result is a range of wines, both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, that are transparent to site, brimming with life and surprisingly age-worthy.
The domaine’s flagship Flores cuvee now sees 95% fermentation in oak, bringing another layer of complexity to its crisp and snappy profile. Above this sit the two cuvees Nuance and Harmonie, each raised in demi-muid, each offering more texture and breadth than the Flores bottling – Nuance a blend of stony Bué sites, Harmonie declassified parcels in the Grand Crus Chêne Marchand and Grand Chemarin. At the top of the range sit the tiny single vineyard bottlings, produced from some of Bué’s finest terroirs. Petit and Grand Chemarin, on Kimmeridgean Marl and limestone soils, offer fizzing line and powerful breadth respectively while the white Oxfordian limestone soils of Chêne Marchand, one of the region’s most iconic vineyards, represents the perfect combination of the two; a wine of depth and complexity that often requires some years to truly blossom. The 2022s and 2021s offer beautifully contrasting profiles; the 2022s born of texture and clear, glorious fruits; 2021 a return to brisk, finely tuned elegance.
Generous and worldly gourmands, their own winemaking excellence is undoubtedly guided by their experiences with iconic wines from across Europe. The fact that so many of their wines sit in other great cellars, swapped bottle for bottle, is proof of the respect with which their wines are held by their peers. These are stellar Sancerres indeed.
2021 Chêne Marchand
The 2021 Chêne Marchand is a powerful, long-lived style with masses of concentration inside a mid-weight package. There's a ripeness of almost tropical fruit alongside nectarines and a touch of green gooseberry. A light creamy flavor joins the fruit. It is impressive, structured and firm. This will go the distance. – 95pts, Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous.
2021 Grand Chemarin
The 2021 Grand Chemarin welcomes you with its silky texture and puts you at ease with its relaxed attitude before firing home firmly. There's no doubting the concentration of fruit which is all tangy grapefruit, elderflower and stony in flavor. It has a delightful texture and provides a mouthwateringly fresh finish. – 93pts, Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous.
2021 Petit Chemarin
The 2021 Petit Chemarin is finely balanced and shapely. Hailing from a stony site, it is focused and precise, almost like it moves along a tunnel of its own making as it proceeds across the palate. This is not a Sancerre about flamboyant aromatics but restraint with pared-back aromas of elderflower, citrus, wax and a touch of mlf-derived creaminess. – 93pts, Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous.
The 2022 Nuance is a comfortable, suave, silky style of Sancerre that's been carefully tended. It offers rounded edges and rich fruit flavors of pear, pineapple and a hint of nuttiness, perhaps from time on lees in wooden tanks. This is textural, satisfying and approachable with gentle acidity. – 91pts, Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous.
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