A Visit to Jonathan Pabiot, 2017

“I used to play on these slopes when I was a child. This land was used for keeping goats and sheep, and was not for vines. But then my father planted, and now we have just one hectare of vines here.”

Jonathan Pabiot had only driven a few hundred metres from his cellars before he had brought his lurching van to a halt, and we had tumbled down from the cab. From a limestone crest covered with Sauvignon Blanc, the rows of vines coursing and weaving their way over the undulating landscape, we had a superb view over the broad plain below. Just where we stood the land fell away dramatically, so that we were looking down onto the vines that Jonathan was pointing out. Beyond the vineyard I could see a sports field in the distance, and behind lay the shimmering waters of the Loire, winding its way around sandbanks and little islands coated with scrubby vegetation.

Jonathan Pabiot

“There are a lot of vines on this side of the Loire, many on Oxfordian and Portlandian terroirs, but there are also some Kimmeridgian marls. These vines here are on Kimmeridgian, and I use them for my Eurythmie and Prédilection cuvées, Eurythmie comes from the vines on the right, and from the left comes Prédilection.”

Prédilection, as surely all committed fans of Jonathan Pabiot will already know, is one of his top cuvées, while Eurythmie (from the vines pictured below) shows similarly high quality albeit with a little new-oak influence on the vinification. It is Prédilection that I have chosen to add to my cellar in most vintages, alongside his entry-level cuvée, which remains amazing value for money.

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