Pascal Lambert, 2016 Update

One of the problems that Chinon seems to present wine drinkers is the lack of any easily understood internal ranking of the vineyards or wines. Whereas the Côte d’Or in Burgundy has its premiers and grands crus, and Bordeaux is helped (or some might say hindered) by a smorgasbord of classifications and ranking systems, Chinon has nothing. This is despite the fact that with a wide variety of terroirs, this appellation produces a broad array of styles, everything from light red wines largely free of structure for drinking within a year or two of the harvest, right through to very substantial barrel-aged wines that warrant years if not decades in the cellar.

Pascal Lambert

This sadly makes it difficult to know, unless you have some prior knowledge, what the word Chinon on a label actually means. And these aren’t just the words of some obsessive wine hack who has clearly spent far too long trudging up and down the limestone slopes of the Loire Valley’s most famous red wine appellation (me, in case that isn’t clear). Speaking to Matthieu Baudry on this very subject he, too, clearly recognised this. “When someone says ‘I like Chinon’ to me”, he said, “my first response is ‘Which Chinon?’ A Chinon from sand, or from gravel, or from the slopes, or from up on the plateau? There are many different types of Chinon”.

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