The wines from Pinard are some of the best in Sancerre, on par with the Cotat's and even Vatan but rarely imported to the USA. We were introduced to these wines at a three-star restaurant in Champagne, and the Pinard was surprisingly one of the wines of the night, perfect for washing down one of the best meals in our life. It shows that Coche and Raveneau aren't the only white wines fitting for a meal of this magnitude.
Wines are made by the sons of Vincent Pinard, Clement, and Florence, the 15th generation, to run their family estate in Bue. Le Chateau is one of Pinard'sPinard's best Cuvees, sourced from the lieu-dit Le Chateau, a south-facing slope above Bué planted in 1971 and 1972. Here the soil is Kimmeridgian marl (limestone and clay), which is a bit of a rarity in Bué, where most of the terroir is the more gravelly Oxfordian limestone. Their vineyards have been farmed organically for 15 years, and in 2017 they obtained a full biodynamic certification, no small feat. The Pinard's like to pick early, which helps them find balance in warmer vintages, where many seem to go over the top. While they pick earlier than producers like Cotat, they can still capture a similar power without the later harvest residual sugars that are sometimes leftover. Wines are fermented in larger oak barrels of various sizes, 600-liter demi-muids in the case of the Le Chateau, spending nine months on the lees for more complexity and texture.
The 2020s here should be excellent, and it is a very promising vintage that would have played into Pinard's hands with a warm and fast growing season that required early picking to maintain balance. Le Chateau was the best wine from Pinard in 2019, and there are high hopes for 2020, which should be on the same level. We have low pricing on some of the only bottles available now, and it's one of the few wines from Sancerre we recommend buying every vintage.