Our recent trip to France for Wine Expo Paris provided the opportunity to connect with old friends from all over the world, some of whom we haven’t had a chance to see in person for several years. Walking the vineyards of Domaine de la Noblaie with Jérôme Billard, tasting in the cellar with Clément Pinard of Domaine Vincent Pinard, and exchanging ideas and discussing future collaborations with the President of La Guardiense reminded us why we’re so grateful for the relationships we have with our winery partners.
We had the chance to make some new friends, too. We’re looking forward to sharing with you the exciting producers we’ll soon be introducing to the market, but in the meantime we thought it would be fitting to highlight some of the wines made by the people who were such gracious and generous hosts during our time in France.
2020 Domaine de la Noblaie ‘Chante le Vent’ Chinon Blanc
Displaying beautiful freshness and mineral complexity, this is a waxy, floral masterpiece from 50-year-old Chenin Blanc vines grown on tuffeau soils then harvested by hand, pressed, and fermented by indigenous yeast in tank.
Retail $29.95 / btl
2020 Domaine Vincent Pinard ‘Florès’ Sancerre
As the name suggests, this cuvée is very floral and displays delicate aromatics of apricot and nectarine. Fresh and textural, there is plenty of fruit on the palate: lemon, lime and grapefruit zest with a ripe juicy acidity, and a chalky, mineral-driven finish. Purity and finesse abound in this absolutely classic Sancerre.
Retail $54.95 / btl
2017 Janare ‘Lucchero’ Aglianico Sannio
“A brooding and enticing nose of ripe black and red fruit with dark chocolate, licorice and leather. Full-bodied with well integrated tannins. The acidity helps to articulate the delicious fruit and cocoa character. Outstanding intensity and length.”
92 Points, James Suckling
Retail $24.95 / btl
About the wineries
Domaine de la Noblaie, Chinon
Domaine de la Noblaie is one of the oldest and most beautiful family estates in the Chinon appellation. The 28 hectares of vineyards roll over plateaus and hillsides of clay and chalk, and the vines are surrounded by woods which protect them from frost and storms, and are studded with plots of cereals, peas and sunflowers, all cultivated organically. Under the capable stewardship of Jérôme Billard, everything is hand harvested, natural yeast fermentations take place in tank or stone vats, and no or minimal sulfur is used until bottling.
Domaine Vincent Pinard, Sancerre
The Pinard Family has been passing down winemaking techniques for generations – 20 to be precise. The current domain, which started in 1996 by Vincent Pinard is now run by his two sons, Florent and Clément. They are laser focused on creating wines with a sense of place, specializing in site-specific terroir with the goal of always creating the most precise, pure and focused wines as possible.
La Guardiense, Benevento
The premium range of wines from La Guardiense is called ‘Janare’. Established in 1960, La Guardiense is an important co-op located in the region of Sannio, near the city of Benevento, created to provide a reliable market for local grower’s grapes. It began with 33 members who, in an effort to control their own fate, decided to produce and sell the wine made from their grapes. Today, there are 1,000 members farming 1,500 hectares, and La Guardiense is one of the largest and most well respected co-operative wineries in Italy.