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Jonathan Pabiot, 2023 Update

Jonathan Pabiot, 2023 Update

It must be more than a decade since I first tasted the wines of Jonathan Pabiot. We met at the Salon des Vins de Loire, back when the annual Salon was a major event in the Ligérian vigneron’s calendar, a trade fair which drew in thousands of buyers, and even one or two journalists, from across the globe.

The most recent incarnation of the Salon des Vins de Loire, in 2023, shows just how much has changed during the passing of those years. In a post-Covid world (can we say post-Covid yet?) of increasingly evident climate change, in which the Loire Valley now regularly experiences significant frost damage in spring, yields (and therefore incomes) have been slashed. And in response to this decline in the region’s fortunes the 2023 Salon, returning for the first time after two Covid-cancelled years, was a cut-price affair.

Once a grand international trade show, with all the glitzy stands and glamour (yes, really) you might expect, the 2023 Salon des Vins de Loire bore more resemblance to a summer fête or school fair. There was a much reduced cohort of vignerons (with many famous names notable by their absence) displaying their wares, all on simple cloth-covered trestle tables. At times I half-expected to turn around to find the local branch of the Women’s Institute selling their jams and home-baked cakes. A tombola maybe. Or my personal school-fair favourite, the lucky dip.

Perhaps I am being a little harsh.

Jonathan Pabiot

Anyway, whatever my opinion on the reborn Salon des Vins de Loire, times have clearly changed. Happily Jonathan Pabiot, who was showing his wines at the Salon Saint Jean rather than the Salon des Vins de Loire, seems to have resisted any similar evolution, and he turns out the same eclectic (very slightly expanded) range of wines as he did all those years ago. He has undertaken one change, though, and that is the rechristening of some of his cuvées. Such a change obviously has the potential to confuse (well, it does me), but that is something I will cover in this update. And so without further ado let’s get stuck into the latest releases – with names both familiar and unfamiliar – from Jonathan.

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