JEAN PIERRE ROBINOT
Jean-Pierre Robinot is a legend in the world of natural wine, his wines are served in the best restaurants in the world and if they don’t make you speachless nothing will. We had the fortune of meeting him at La Dive in February 2018 and nobody drew a larger crowd or poured and tasted the wines with such enthusiasm as Jean-Pierre, his love for the wines was contagious!
He fell in love with wine at a young age when he tasted a bottle of Cheval Blanc from 1964, he became incredibly passionate, even obsessive about wine. So he moved to Paris and opened one of the first natural wine bars, l’Ange Vin, and he was part of founding Rouge et Blanc, one of France’s most influential wine magazines. In 2000 he sold the bar and bought a vineyard just outside the village of Chahaignes, north of the Loire, where he grew up and now lives and works with his wife Noella. Now he has about ten hectares in several locations, some would be classified as Jasnières or Coteaux du Loir if he worked within the appellation rules. He releases the wines under two different domaines; Les Vignes de l’Ange Vin where the wines are made from plots that he owns and l’Opera des Vins where he buys grapes also grown organically and biodynamically.
He is working with Chenin Blanc and Pineau d’Aunis vines organically and biodynamically on soils of red clay, limestone and silex, the majority of treatments are infusions of wild plants such as nettles and ferns. There is never maceration and some barrels are toasted. Harvest is done by hand and the natural fermentation is often very slow, lasting for months or even years. The wines then rests on its lees in barrels until Robinot considers them ready which can be up to five years in some cases. This all takes place in ancient limestone caves. He never adds sulfits to the wines.
The patience Robinot shows is clearly a sign of wisdom in the celler, his wines are never rushed to the market, it is released when its ready and, oh, it is ready!