Pascal Janvier never planned on becoming a vigneron. Though his parents had vineyard land of their own, they did not make their own wine. Instead, he went to school to learn butchery. However, Pascal made a sudden about-face at the age of thirty and decided to study winegrowing in Amboise. His serious and soft-spoken demeanor reflects a man prone to quiet contemplation and great deliberation. His decision was anything but a whim. Starting slowly, he has mastered his craft with a focus and passion that is contributing towards the revival of the small appellation of Jasnières, in the department of the Sarthe in the Val du Loir. The Loir is a tributary of the Loire River, and its viticultural area is the most northerly (and coldest) of the greater Loire region. The once proud appellations of Jasnières and the Coteaux du Loir (the preferred wines of King Henri IV) are now all but extinct, with still less than one hundred and two hundred hectares still respectively under vine. Pascal, with the help of his wife Dominique, is doing his part to remind everyone what Jasnières is capable of. For the Coteaux du Loir and Jasnières cuvées, the Janviers farm sixty-six different parcels (a total of nine hectares) of land, with soils comprised of clay, limestone, sand, and silex. Both appellations—Jasnières being the “premier cru” of the two—produce truly distinctive and dry Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Loire), known for exotic aromatics, flinty minerality, and the capacity to age in bottle. Their “Cuvée du Silex,” a selection from their flintiest parcels, embodies these attributes with class and precision. The 2019 Chenin Blanc, meanwhile, comes from AOCs outside Jasnières but nevertheless bears similar characteristics, very much in line with Janvier’s style. Finally, they also produce small quantities of red, made from the floral, peppery indigenous Pineau d’Aunis, whose delicate aromas soar with a slight chill. There is no doubt that Pascal and Dominique have chosen the path less traveled, though at the first sip of their wines, one understands why they keep working so hard. Their stunning aromatics and complexity prove them to be some of the greatest values in our Loire Valley portfolio.
Pascal Janvier France | Loire | Jasnières
Racy, slightly honeyed, exotically perfumed, and loaded with minerality, this wine is an excellent representation of how Chenin reacts to the local conditions.
Pascal Janvier France | Loire | Coteaux du Loir
This red is 100% Pineau d’Aunis, an indigenous red grape we hold dear to our collective hearts because of its mystifying aromatics, low alcohol, and bright, juicy texture.
Pascal Janvier France | Loire | Coteaux du Loir
This Chenin Blanc has a tart sweetness, or perhaps a sweet tartness—with neither overbearing—that epitomizes good balance and will have you greedily reaching for your glass.
The list of factors goes on and our list of overachievers could, too. For now, we’ve narrowed down our selections to twenty-four wines—four each at six price points, because tremendous value isn’t exclusive to inexpensive bottlings. You can find it at all prices, from $12 to $120, as these wines resoundingly show.
It’s as if the fossil-laden chalky soil running through Chablis has helped create a wine that is a visceral reminder of our amphibian past, with its bracing smell of waterfalls and oncoming rain, wet stone and coastal citrus groves. Briny, crisp, chiseled, and mouthwatering, it refreshes and invigorates.
While Barolo and Barbaresco are aged for years in wood before release, many growers also bottle a fresher, lighter, more approachable expression of the variety under the Langhe Nebbiolo denomination...
The Geggiano winemaking operation is about as artisanal as can be, housed in a thirteenth-century cellar filled with nothing but old wooden casks, where the elixir of these Tuscan hillsides patiently blossoms to maturity...
Few wines pair better with grilled foods than a savory, smoky expression of Syrah. Additionally, its characteristic spice and assertive flavor make it a great partner to many dishes in Indian, Pakistani, Persian, North African, and eastern Mediterranean cuisines, without forgetting its affinity to rustic French cooking.
Many of our best values, all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and even a couple of sparklers, made by real people and reefer-shipped so they arrive in your hands in nothing less than perfect condition.
Her wonderfully complex terroir of schist, granite, and galets roulés (alluvial riverbed stones) produces some of the most ethereal rosés you’ll ever taste. And the olive oil—well, it isn’t easy for us to get as excited about olive oil as about wine, but when you taste these, you’ll understand why they have become Corsica’s pride and joy.
You will be hard pressed to find better wines anywhere in the Côte Chalonnaise, and don’t underestimate their appellations—de Villaine wines routinely outperform more prestigious, more expensive appellations.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
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