Jean Pierre Robinot - 2018 Charme
Jean-Pierre Robinot is one of the most famed peoples of the wine world, and rightly so. He’s in his early 70s with the energy and enthusiasm of a teenager. He had one of the first natural wine bars in Paris, called l’Ange Vin, and, while living in Paris also was one of the founders of Rouge et Blanc, still one of France’s most influential wine magazines. But he eventually sold the bar and in 2000 bought a vineyard, just out of the village of Chahaignes, where he now lives. It’s also where he grew up.
All his wines are fermented naturally (often very slowly over more than a year) and his still wines in old barrels in humid cellars cut directly into the hills many years ago, some so old that it’s hard to believe that they stay together. He is patient, holding wines in barrel until he believes they are ready, which can sometimes be more than 5 years.
Jean-Pierre has two domaines that he releases his wines under. The first in Les Vignes de l’Ange Vin where the wines are made from plots of vines that he owns and manages organically and biodynamically. His other wines are released under the L’Opera des Vins label. Here he buys the grapes from friends who also manage their vineyards in the same way as Jean-Pierre. He has always had the patience to wait until the wine is ready to release rather than rushing it to the market. And the results show the wisdom of that approach. That being said, if you cellar the wines you'll be immensely rewarded - the sparklings included.
This wine is absolutely intriguing! The Charmes vineyard is over 40 years old and was bought by Jean-Pierre and Noella about ten years ago in the Jasnieres district. The soils are quite chalky and this can be seen in the wine. The oxidative treatment of the wine by Jean-Pierre ensures that the wine will last for a very, very long time. Expect this one to last for fifty years or more! This is complexity at its peak, and best enjoyed by those who love Jura wines or other wines famed for oxidative qualities.
Varietal Chenin Blanc || Region Loire Valley, France || ABV 14% || Vol 750mL