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Pascal Janvier: Wines of the Coteaux du Loir

Pascal Janvier: Wines of the Coteaux du Loir

Pascal Janvier: Wines of the Coteaux du Loir

What do King Henri IV, Louis XIV, and winemaker Pascal Janvier all have in common? A profound love of a small corner of the Loire Valley, the AOCs  of Jasnières and the Coteaux du Loir. These small regions are the most northerly (and coldest) of the Loire Valley and sit along the Loir River, a tributary of the Loire River. Once producing the favorite wines of Kings Henri IV and Louis XIV, most of the regional vineyards were wiped out by Phylloxera in the mid-1800s and very few vignerons sought to continue producing wine there.
The exception today is Pascal Janvier and his wife Dominique. Originally trained as a butcher, Pascal made an abrupt career change at the age of 30 and went to study winemaking. He and his wife rent 66 different parcels (about 9 hectares total) which they farm entirely themselves – quite the challenge! They’re dedicated to reminding everyone what made Jasnières and the Coteaux du Loir favorite wine regions of royalty. They grow Chenin Blanc (called Pineau de la Loire in this region) and Pineau d’Aunis – a thin-skinned red varietal. Pascal is a truly talented winemaker and his wines are expressive of the unique terroir. Come check out these two wines while we have them – they won’t last long!

2012 Pascal Janvier Coteaux du Loir ‘Cuvee du Rosiers’  –  $17.99
Pascal’s only red wine is quite unusual. It’s 100% Pineau d’Aunis, a grape native to this area of the Loire Valley which is becoming rarer by the day. In fact, there are only about 435 hectares remaining planted in France down from 1700 hectares in the 1950s. Its ‘barely-red’ hue is more reminiscent of Dorothy’s ruby slippers than typical red wine color. But don’t let its delicate color fool you! Intense black pepper and herbal aromas lead to a light-bodied palate with flavors of tart cranberry, herbs, and smoke; such a food-friendly wine. Try serving it lightly chilled!
2012 Pascal Janvier Coteaux du Loir Blanc  –  $16.99 

If there’s something this small region should be known for, it’s Chenin Blanc. This extremely versatile and expressive grape produces exceptional wines, especially in the cool climate of the Coteaux du Loir. If you like Vouvray, you’ll definitely love Pascal’s white. It’s from 15 year-old vines grown on clay soils and is very mineral driven. It’s full of mouthwatering notes of crushed rocks, white peach, tropical aromas, and acidity that begs for food! We love the price too, so come get some while it’s around!

Upcoming Tastings:

18th Hour Cafe – Every Thursday, 6-9PM, Drop-In. 

Harvest Beer & Food Pairing Class with Master Cicerone Rich Higgins – Wednesday, October 16, 6:30-9:30PM, Ticketed

Sincerely,
Matt Rupert and the Wine and Cheese Team  
Bi-Rite Market

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