Pacotille 2015 — Chenin Blanc
A Wine That
is not for the faint-hearted. This is for lovers of reductive Chenin Blanc; Chenin that soars out of the glass with such mineral force that it almost bowls you over. If you love the intense, smoky, matchstick, gunflint vibe that Chenin on schist can produce, this is for you. It's a wine that will split the room, but one that will have staunch defendents cheering it on. We think it's profound—even more so if you have a carafe (or a vase will do) to give it some air.
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- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- Winemaker: Deboutbertin
Where & How?
From the Faye d'Anjou in the Loire Valley, this is from a 0.4 hectare plot of 50-year-old Chenin Blanc vines. Here, vines grow straight into the bedrock of dark schist; this is extreme terroir and it shows in the wine. Farmed biodynamically by Stéphanie, Vincent and their horses.
The extreme terroir and gentle farming methods means that yields are low, but the juice is powerful. The juice was whole cluster pressed and fermented naturally, ageing in old oak barrels in their cool cellar. Bottled unfined, unfiltered and with no sulphur: this is just fermented grape juice.
Stéphanie Debout and Vincent Bertin (hence Deboutbertin) met at university while studying engineering. They moved to Paris, but quickly became disillusioned with city life and pined for the countryside. One of their friend’s fathers, Jean-Philippe Fichet, is a winemaker in Burgundy, and on a trip to visit him they became entranced by his passion for the craft of winemaking. That was that. They decided to go and do a vintage with a winemaker in the Loire in 2011 to test the waters, and in Stéphanie’s words, it was love at first sight. They had fallen for the vigneron life. By 2012, they had handed in their resignation notices, bought a house and a vineyard, and signed up for winemaking school.
For them, the most important thing is the overall health of their vineyards. This has brought them to agroforestry, and they now interplant their vineyards with trees. In doing so, they break the monocultural mould of the vineyard, instead creating an area in which other species of plants can thrive. This is a young couple who demonstrate vinous minimalism in the best way possible. These are pure wines of soul that have nothing added, nothing taken away. They speak of healthy vineyards, healthy people and a love for nature. People often debate what natural wine is; well, it doesn’t get more natural than this.