François Pinon, 2012 Update
When it comes to repenting my sins at the Pearly Gates, I will kneel before my inquisitor and, no doubt suddenly realising the error of my ways, I will beg for some last-minute forgiveness. Which particular sins of my youth will be raised in the course of my petition for pity, I wonder? That forged birth certificate I created, in order to wheedle my way into the Palace Lido, the only night club in town, when I was still of too tender an age to enter such a heaving den of iniquity, perhaps? Or the time I borrowed my grandmother’s car only to land it in a roadside ditch late one night? After coercing some passers-by into helping me push it out, and having pulled the shrubbery from the radiator grill, I handed back the keys later the next day wearing most angelic face I could muster. Hopefully neither event, although both are clearly terrible sins, will earn me eternal damnation; and as both occurred several decades ago, I will plead for forgiveness on the grounds of youth, the simple inexperience and social ineptitude of the awkward teenager.
There is, however, simply no excuse for failing to keep up to date with the wines of François Pinon. This is a feature of my current life, not of my teenage years, and it is surely the most heinous of these three crimes. Temporarily beached cars and dodgy photocopies pale into insignificance as a result. Damnation it is, then.
François Pinon is one of the more charming and talented vignerons in Vouvray, and he differs from many of the top names in that he is located not in or around the town of Vouvray itself, as is the case with Domaine Huet, Philippe Foreau, Champalou or Domaine des Aubuisières, but is located a little to the east, north of Vernou-sur-Brenne. The countryside here is gentle, and I often think the wines match that air, showing a style which is a little more doucement than that found within Vouvray’s heartland to the west. There is no lack of conviction in the style though, the wines showing all the tension, minerality and defining acidity of great Vouvray, in the right vintages at least. François, who gave up a career as a child psychologist at the age of 35 in order to take the reins of the family domaine from his father, has been making just this style of wine since he returned home in 1987. That makes 25 years here, an impressive innings, and so it is perhaps not surprising to see the next generation of the Pinon family, Julien, helping out with pouring the wines, just as François himself must have done.Please log in to continue reading: