This beautiful expression of Pineau d’Aunis comes from vines both young and old, planted over a complex blend of clay, limestone and silex. The grapes were fermented as whole bunches for a couple of weeks before being pressed off to old barrels for a year of élevage. From a cooler vintage, this is lighter, brighter and more delicately perfumed than in recent years. Compact and elegant, it is heady with pink peppercorns and wild strawberries, the fruit framed by the neatest of tannins and a cascade of minerals. This is the grape at its most immediate and compelling.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Renaud Guettier is based in the village of Bueil-en-Touraine in the Coteaux-du-Loir. It is an area blessed with numerous hidden old parcels of Chenin Blanc and Pineau d’Aunis. Renaud trained as an agronomist specialising in plant physiology and in 2004 purchased half a hectare of old vines from his stepfather. Over the past decade he has added tiny parcels of old vines bit by bit and now farms over 25 plots across around five hectares, with an average vine age of 80 years.
The terroir is a combination of clay, flint and limestone and farming is both meticulous and admirable, done organically and by hand, without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Grapes are hand picked and brought to his cave in a former quarry dug into the limestone cliffs where they are wild fermented, basket pressed and fed by gravity to the cellar below. There they have a gentle élevage in old wooden casks, something Renaud considers vital when producing wines as he does, without anything added at any stage.
These diverse plots of old, healthy vines and Renaud’s attention to detail to both farming and élevage yields chiseled, powerful wines of uncommon balance, elegance and detail.