• Loire Pineau d'Aunis Resurgence

    Loire Pineau d'Aunis Resurgence

    If you've fallen in love with reds from the Loire Valley, you may have been lucky enough to be introduced to Clos Roche Blanche. Sadly, 2014 marked the last vintage at this iconic domaine, one that served as a guiding light to so many young organic and biodynamic-focused vignerons. Their bottling of the obscure Pineau d'Aunis variety reached legendary status, and since that final release, I've been on the hunt for another equally compelling source of this pale red known for its wispy cranberry and pepper notes. That arduous hunt recently came to an end.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the 2019 Cortault-Tardieux Les Temps des Aunis Pineau d'Aunis.

    As luck would have it, Simon Tardieux worked at Clos Roche Blanche with Catherine Roussel and Didier Barrouillet. After the estate concluded production, he teamed up with neighbor Alain Courtault to begin a new chapter, following the same principles that helped catapult Clos Roche Blanche to stardom in the natural wine world.

    The duo was entranced by the hauntingly pure wines that Pineau d'Aunis was capable of producing with this minimal intervention approach in the vines and cellar. Their extremely limited cuvée of Pineau d'Aunis comes from a single parcel known as Les Parcs in the village of Thésée, located east of Tours. Soil here is limestone, with white clay, and flint.

    The Les Temps des Aunis captures everything about Pineau d'Aunis that originally pulled me in when I first tasted Clos Roche Blanche. As pale a red wine as you are likely to taste, the fruit profile on the front end finds itself squarely in between the cranberry and raspberry register, while leading to more grapefruit and spicy strawberry tones on the mid-palate. But, the finish is the greatest element here, with a lingering minerality that brings stardust to mind.

    While faint in color, the Temps des Aunis will pair beautifully with all variations of chicken and fish. And, the more understated the preparation, the better this magically high-toned red will show.

     

    Posted by Max Kogod