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Pascal Janvier

Pascal Janvier "Cuvée du Rosier" Pineau d'Aunis, Coteaux du Loire Rouge, France 2022

Pascal Janvier "Cuvée du Rosier" Pineau d'Aunis, Coteaux du Loire Rouge, France 2022

Regular price $30.00 USD
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THE WINE: One of the Loire’s rarest red grapes, Pineau d’Aunis is downright obscure compared to the region’s golden child, Cabernet Franc. As with many of France’s grape varieties, Pineau d’Aunis was nearly wiped out by phylloxera in the 1860s. A notoriously finicky grape, it was widely replaced with easier-to-grow, higher-yielding varieties. Pineau d’Aunis acreage had been in steady decline until around twenty years ago when local vignerons, fearing its impending extinction, began an effort to put the indigenous variety back on the map. Only about a thousand acres are planted to Pineau d’Aunis in France today. In the Coteaux du Loir appellation, Pascal Janvier dutifully tends his vines to craft a 100% Pineau d’Aunis cuvée—the only bottling of this extraordinary grape in our entire portfolio.

In the glass, his Cuvée du Rosier looks (and often drinks) like young Pinot Noir. Its bright strawberry and sour cherry notes lead into a spicy finish recalling cracked pepper. Juicy and lively thanks to a palate-tickling hint of effervescence, it is best served slightly chilled, as you would a Beaujolais, and can be paired with anything (or nothing at all), but goes especially well with tricky-to-pair dishes that have a kick. This wine is truly a knockout with spicy food, and the KLWM staff delights in swapping stories of matchmaking it with the plethora of takeout options we have in and around the Bay Area. From zesty curries to kimchi bibimbap, a chilled glass of this hidden gem cuvée will refresh a sizzling palate like a cooling elixir, while at the same time enhancing all the flavors at table.

THE PRODUCER: Pascal Janvier never planned on becoming a vigneron. Though his parents had vineyard land of their own, they did not make their own wine. Instead, he went to school to learn butchery. However, Pascal made a sudden about-face at the age of thirty and decided to study winegrowing in Amboise. His serious and soft-spoken demeanor reflects a man prone to quiet contemplation and great deliberation. His decision was anything but a whim. Starting slowly, he has mastered his craft with a focus and passion that is contributing towards the revival of the small appellation of Jasnières, in the department of the Sarthe in the Val du Loir. The Loir is a tributary of the Loire River, and its viticultural area is the most northerly (and coldest) of the greater Loire region. The once proud appellations of Jasnières and the Coteaux du Loir (the preferred wines of King Henri IV) are now all but extinct, with still less than one hundred and two hundred hectares still respectively under vine. Pascal, with the help of his wife Dominique, is doing his part to remind everyone what Jasnières is capable of.

The Janviers rent sixty-six different parcels (a total of nine hectares) of land and farm it entirely themselves. Jasnières produces some of the best dry Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Loire) in the world, and its wines are said to reach their peak ten years after the vintage. The soils of their parcels are comprised of clay, limestone, sand and silex (flint), and are planted primarily to Chenin Blanc. KLWM imports one bottling of their red, made from the lighter-bodied and elegant indigenous red grape, Pineau d’Aunis. Their “Cuvée du Silex” parcel has distinct flint in the soil, lending notes of gunpowder to this beautiful, crisp Chenin. There is no doubt that Pascal and Dominique have chosen the path less traveled, though at the first sip of their wine, one understands why they keep working so hard. Their stunning aromatics and complexity prove them to be one of the greatest values in the KLWM Loire Valley Portfolio, along with the celebrated wines of Château d’Epiré. If over-alcoholic wines are getting to you, Pascal Janvier’s wines are a great refuge.

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