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May 2022: An exploration of Chenin and the often overlooked Passetoutgrains

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  • By Kevin Nguyen
  • Posted in Wine Share
May 2022: An exploration of Chenin and the often overlooked Passetoutgrains

Hey Stranger!

For the month's wine share, we are exploring the many names of Chenin as well as the often forgotten wine appellation of Passetoutgrains.

The May 2022 Standard “Stranger” Share:


For our standard members, we are taking you to the middle of the Loire Valley, more specifically near the town of Angers! The two bottles in this month’s share were made only 30 minutes away from each other but come from very different terroirs. The Loire Valley is famous for its diversity of soil types, grape varieties, and thus wine styles. The range of wines you can taste and discover within the Loire is one of the many reasons we continue to love this region. 


2021 Les Grand Vignes, Pineau d'Aunis

The first wine in our Loire themed pack is the 2021 Pineau d’Aunis from Domaine Les Grand Vignes located in the Anjou. Since the 17th century, the Vaillant family has passed down their domain from generations to generations. For the past 10 years, the domain has been cultivated completely organically and biodynamically,  an impressive feat given they have over 55 hectares (135 acres) under vines. This bottle is 100% Pineau d’Aunis, a grape indigenous to the Loire Valley and one of our favorite grape varieties in the world. Pineau d’Aunis, also known as Chenin Noir even though it has no relationship to Chenin Blanc, is a dark-skinned variety that is known for its seductive pepperiness and savoriness. 2021 was a particularly tough year in the Loire but the wines that have made it out are showing beautifully. Pair this wine with steak au poivre, thai beef salad, or charcuterie coated with black pepper. 


2013 Damien Laureau, Savennières, La Petite Roche

The second wine in this month’s wine share is the 2013 “La Petite Roche '' from Damien Laureau in the Savennières appellation. Damien is often referred to as a “new superstar of Savennières,” even though he has over 15 vintages of experience, for his mastery of Chenin Blanc in the  schist-driven soils of Savennières. This bottling is 100% Chenin Blanc, also known as Pineau de la Loire, sourced from the “La Petite Roche” vineyard - a parcel of land named after one of the two grand crus of Savennieres “Roche Aux Moines.” We selected this wine to showcase the beauty of aged white wine! With over 9 years of age, this bottle is still incredibly alive and fresh with notes of honeysuckle, apricots, and brûléed grapefruit. Pair this wine with butter poached lobster, ginger Chilean sea bass, or campfire mac & cheese.



The May 2022 Deluxe “Not a Stranger” Share:


For our deluxe members, we are taking you to Burgundy and Beau-JURA-lais, a term we just made up to describe the wine trend of Jura producers sourcing Gamay from the Beaujolais region. This exclusively red wine bottle share contains a single-varietal Pinot Noir, a single-varietal Gamay, and a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. We suggest drinking these wines in close succession, starting with the single-varietal wines first and then the blend last.


2015 Lignier-Michelot, Bourgogne Rouge 

Domaine Lignier-Michelot has deep roots in the village of Morey St. Denis in the Cote d’Or region of Burgundy going back to the early 20th century. In those early decades, they were content with producing wines and selling it off to négociants - French term for wine merchant - but in the 1990s they decided to sell their own wines under the family name.The Bourgogne Rouge is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from Chambolle-Musigny. Although this is the estate’s entry-level wine, it's clear from the first sip that the Lignier family gives their Bourgogne Rouge as much love and care as their other bottles. Notes of dried strawberries, crushed rose petals, and sun-dried tomatoes. Pair with duck rillette or porchetta.


2020 Domaine de Saint-Pierre, Le Dos d'Chat, GG Gamay 

Fabrice Dodane studied wine in Beaune before becoming the winemaker of Domaine de Saint-Pierre in 1989. His no sulfur wines rapidly became darlings of the natural wine scene in Paris, New York, and Japan as they balance easy drinkability and expression of terroir. In recent years, incredibly low crop yields due to debilitating spring frosts in the Jura has forced Dodane to expand his horizons and purchase fruit from friends resulting in the Le Dos d’Chat negociant line of wines. The “GG” is all Gamay sourced from Beaujolais and is an absolute treat. Everything you love about Gamay with a hint of alpine herbs. Drink on a breezy sunny day. 


2019 Domaine Chevillon, Passetoutgrains

Domaine Chevillon has been part of the Nuits-Saint-Georges landscape since the 1800s. Now the historic winery is helmed by brothers Bertrand and Denis Chevillon, fifth generation managers of this property, meaning they are in the fields working the vines and in the cellar making the wines. The wines are famous for being consistently well-made year over year despite vintage variation challenges. This bottle is their Passetoutgrains, the Burgundian blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir. It’s exuberant and perfumed with notes of dark cherries, violets, and earthy spice. Pair with al pastor tacos or grilled Moroccan chicken. 


We hope you enjoy. Don’t be a Stranger and join our wine share here!