Week 8: Sommelier Feature: Pascal Janvier from Jasnières. The Mineral Man.

One of the most exciting producers in our portfolio comes from the small region in the Loire Valley called Jasnières.  Most people have never even heard of the region where this winery is located. Perhaps that's a challenge, but also a conversation starter. What makes Jasnières different than other Loire Valley appellations is that it doesn't sit in the Loire Valley, but along one its tributaries, the River Loir (no "e"). Along with the adjacent appellation of Coteaux du Loir, many of the Chenin Blanc-based wines rarely make it out of France. Vouvray and Savennières are certainly more popular appellations and have the reputation for the best Chenins in the world. Chenin Blanc from Jasnières is unique that it's a great combination of both of those styles . They are have all the minerality and terroir on the nose from a great Savennières and the apple, stone fruit qualities of Vouvray. Pascal is a stout, petite man, who previously studied to be a butcher. He grew up in this northerly region, one of the coldest wine producing areas of France. When you meet him, he is timid, soft-spoken, and only speaks French. Once you get him talking about his wines, he opens up, just as a wine would. Slowly, revealing more about himself and his passion for this grape and place.

From Kermit Lynch:

The Janviers rent sixty-six different parcels (a total of nine hectares) of land and farm it entirely themselves. Jasnières produces some of the best dry Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Loire) in the world, and its wines are said to reach their peak ten years after the vintage. The soils of their parcels are comprised of clay, limestone, sand and silex (flint), and are planted primarily to Chenin Blanc. Kermit Lynch imports one bottling of their red, made from the lighter-bodied and elegant indigenous red grape, Pineau d’Aunis. Their “Cuvée du Silex” parcel has distinct flint in the soil, lending notes of gunpowder to this beautiful, crisp Chenin. There is no doubt that Pascal and his wife, Dominique have chosen the path less traveled, though at the first sip of their wine, one understands why they keep working so hard. Their stunning aromatics and complexity prove them to be one of the greatest values in the Kermit Lynch Loire Valley Portfolio.