Chenin Blanc – Loire Valley, FR
100% Chenin Blanc. Pinon makes two brut sparkling wines, both of which are made with the méthode champenoise and from estate parcels of flinty clay soils over the classic Vouvray tuffeau (soft chalky limestone). The later-harvested, riper fruit goes into this zero-dosage bottling to allow for a better balance in the final wine (while the lower-sugar, higher acid grapes go into the brut bottling that receives a dosage and shorter aging). The vines for both average 45 years old. They are farmed organically (certified since 2007) and the soils worked by plow. The fruit is harvested manually and goes through a rigorous three-step sorting process from vine to winery. Fermentation is spontaneous and lasts 4 to 6 weeks. The wine is racked into old tonneaux and steel tanks for 2 to 3 months of aging on the fine lees. The wine is then lightly filtered and bottled for its second fermentation.