If you want to talk about traditions, lets talk about Pinard. The Pinard’s have a clear family tree proving that wine has been in the family since 1789, being passed on for 20 generations. Today it is the brothers Florent and Clémente, sons to Vincent and Cosette, running the show. The estate has long been famous for crafting high quality and old school Sancerre but since Florent and Clémente’s entry things have been turned up yet another notch.
The 17 hectares of vineyards, about 4 of which is Pinot Noir and the rest Sauvignon Blanc, are in practice treated organically, prohibiting herbicides, insecticides and anti-rot treatments. In order to heighten fruit quality yields are limited by pruning short. The far majority of all the work is carried out manually, harvest by hand with strict sorting, pruning, etcetera. Rule of thumb at Pinard is to intervene as little as possible. The same goes for the winemaking. Wild ferments, lengthy lees ageing, light filtrations. Pinard is one of few producers that still use a a lot of oak in their winemaking, this old technique is something that has remained unchanged here – favouring tradition in front of trends. How much depends on the cuvée, majority of the oak is old and neutral in flavour.
What happens in the cellar assists the wines to take form but an essential quality factor comes from the fantastic vineyards Pinard has on the steep limestone hills around the village of Bué. Together with Chavignol, Bué has some of the most prized vineyards in Sancerre – Chêne Marchand being the most famous example, in which Pinard has significant holdings. In addition to great terroir Pinard’s vines have significant ages on the vines, up to 50 years old. Sauvignon Blanc plays the lead character but some great Pinot Noir’s are also produced.
Many years have passed but few things have changed in the family, the vines and wines have more or less been treated the same way for decades. Traditions and techniques have been passed down through generations and today Pinard is a prime example of traditional Sancerre with a more pungent, aromatic, fuller expression of Sauvignon Blanc. Elegant, pure and precise masterpieces.