2018 François Pinon Silex Noir, Vouvray, Loire Valley, France

2018 François Pinon Silex Noir, Vouvray, Loire Valley, France



RIP – Francoise Pinon died January 28th, 2021 (1951-2021)

Established in 1786, the estate has been built up over the last eight generations and now covers 37 acres.  The vineyard is situated 5 kilometers north-east of Vouvray in the Vallée de Cousse.  In 1987, Francois Pinon, former child psychologist, took over the family estate from his father.  Combining traditional techniques (such a short pruning, working the soil and low yields) with the lastest technology, Francois emphasizes ecologically friendly vineyards and cellar practices.  He works now with his son, Julien, former city planner.

Since the spring of 2003, and in order to bring out the character of the terroir, the estate has been operating according to the principles of organic agriculture (Ecocert certification).

100% Chenin Blanc. The vines average 40 years old and have been certified organic since 2003.  Silex Noir is named for the rare black-flint soils characteristic of these two parcels totaling 3.7 hectares that go into this bottling. The vines are planted on a south-southeastern-exposed slope below the plateau of the Trois Argiles parcels; the area is sunnier, warmer and more humid with a tendency toward botrytis.  The fruit is harvested by hand, rigorously sorted and whole-cluster pressed. The juice flows by gravity into tank for a spontaneous native-yeast fermentation that lasts 2-3 months; it stops naturally in Pinon’s cold cellar carved into the tuffeau hillside. The wine is aged on its fine lees for 4-5 months in a variety of used oak ranging from 500-liter demi-muids to 20-hectoliter foudres. Silex Noir is vinified and aged just like its Deronnières and Trois Argiles counterparts; but it comes out the most potently mineral and racy. True to its continued excellence and form in 2018, this Silex Noir finishes with a 24 grams RS and 5.1 grams acidity (pH 3.15) – “Demi Sec” or off-dry.