Chenin Blanc from a vineyard around forty years old, picked a little later than Bistrologie and pressed straight to old barrels for fifteen months of élevage. A gentle shade of gold in the glass, this is wonderfully delicate and finessed, with gentle notes of citrus and stones. It displays the kind of tightrope balance that we find in the very best examples of the grape, suggesting a long life ahead.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
For lovers of real wine, the name Jean-Pierre Robinot and his story are legendary.
Jean-Pierre fell in love with wine at a young age, moved to Paris, met some of the natural wine movement’s true pioneers and subsequently opened one of the first bars dedicated to such wines in the city, L’Ange Vin, and founded France’s premier journal on the topic, ‘Le Rouge et le Blanc’. It was only a matter of time before he could not resist the urge to join the vignerons he so loved and in the early two thousands he left Paris and moved with his wife Noella back to the village where he grew up to do just that.
The Robinots farm a total of seven hectares of land across two appellations in the Loire’s northern reaches, Jasnières and the Coteaux-du-Loir. The vines are planted over a mix of red clay, limestone and silex and are tended organically, with the majority of treatments coming in the form of infusions of wild plants such as nettles and ferns. Whilst these wines are bottled under the name L’Ange Vin, they occasionally buy grapes from friends under the pseudonym of L’Opéra des Vins.
Fermentations take place in the labyrinth of ancient limestone caves beneath the vines. They go slow and steady and can often last months, even years, with the wines resting on their lees in old barrels for as long as they need and we have tasted some that have been waiting for over a decade. However, there is method in the madness as Jean-Pierre is a master of élevage and by the time each wine is bottled without any additions, it has attained an energy, poise and vitality that is hard to find elsewhere.
With daughter Juliette having joined Jean-Pierre in the vines, the future is bright for one of our most iconic producers.