Pignier Chardonnay de la Reculee 2020


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““Our family bought the property seven generations ago at the time of the French revolution,” explained Marie-Florence Pignier as we were descending into their cellar. “It was part of the old Cartesian monastery, which had a wine vocation.” Indeed, the vaulted ceiling above their old casks of white wine is reminiscent of a gothic cathedral and the cellar is certainly one of the most magnificent of its ilk in all of the Jura.

Fortunately for collectors, the wines produced here are worthy of the awesome site. Organic since 1995 and certified biodynamic in 2006 by Demeter, the estate, says Pignier, “tries to use only wild yeasts, and as little sulfur as possible. Sometimes none.” In particular, the Poulsard is often best with no sulfur, even though it sometimes has only 11% alcohol at harvest and is not chaptalized. There will not be much of it this year, though, for they “lost almost everything to the fruit flies” [the Drosophila suzukii that punctured the grape skins in so many vineyards in Europe from eastern France to Austria].

Even in a good years, they made only 60,000 bottles from their fifteen hectares of vineyard in Montaigu. As 2013 and 2012 were also short crops, almost everything here is now on allocation.”

Joel Payne, Vinous (06/15)