Domaine Vincent Pinard Sancerre Rouge 2017
Pinot Noir｜Sancerre, France
Did you know that the Sancerre region, most famous for its brisk Sauvignon Blanc, also comes in two other flavors? While less common, the region also produces rosé and red wines, both from Pinot Noir. Not all Sancerre Rouge are equal, however, and it pays to know your terroir. Brothers Clément and Florent Pinard (Vincent’s sons) own prized vineyards in the hamlet of Bué (you can literally walk across the town in 10 minutes). The soils here are ancient oceanic remnants called caillottes – basically pulverized limestone pebbles intermixed with chalk and clay.
Pinard’s Sancerres – of all shades – have long been regarded as some of the finest in the region and are definitely “cult” status. Restaurants and wine bars have been wild about them for years, and the secret is only now coming out to the U.S. at large – most of their tiny production stays in Europe and we get very little to the states. Previous vintages go for as much as $68/bottle – but not here! $44 and free shipping on just four gets some natural Pinot goodness in your life.
The Pinard estate is 100% organic with biodynamic influences, and all work is done by hand in the vineyard and the winery. This beauty gets the full luxurious treatment: macerated and fermented in large Tronçais oak barrels, punched down daily by hand and aged in those same barrels for 15 months before bottling, unfined and unfiltered.
Brilliant, bright ruby in the glass. With a nose of sumptuous raspberry, cranberry, fall spices, rosehips, and orange peel it’s as fine a Pinot as you’ll encounter. The palate is all red currants, berry pie, pomegranate and snappy cranberry with a generous dose of pretty red flowers and a tangy finish reminiscent of those pulverized chalky-clay pebbles.
Fun fact, “Pinard” is also French slang for a casual glass of wine. If you’re at a café and request une verre de pinard it means you’re in a nonchalant mood for a fortifying tipple, waiter’s choice. The word traces its origins back to the First World War and a soldier’s daily ration of wine. Pouring from leather wine skin to their mouth was the “Prayer to Saint Pinard.” This wine, however, is far from ordinary and deserves a place at your dinner table or cellar!