2009 François Pinon "Cuvée Silex Noir" Vouvray
The wines of François Pinon are considered among the finest of Vouvray. François, a former child psychologist, took over the estate from his father in 1987, and has steadily made a name for the estate over the past 10 years. He is a serious winemaker whose main focus is "to keep the typicity of both the appellation and the vintage" in all his wines. The vineyards are in the corniche of the Vallée de Cousse in Vernou, the premiers côtes of Vouvray. The soil is clay and silica on a base of limestone (tuffeau) with flint (silex) and the area is rated among the top sites in the appellation for Vouvray of distinction and long life. Pinon follows a discipline of plowing the vineyards, not using chemical fertilizers and pesticides and, of course, he harvests by hand and uses no cultured yeasts. All new plantings are done by selection and no nursery clones are used; the vines are an average of 25 years old. He is certified organic. 2007 marks the first vintage in which Pinon designated wines after their representative soils. This one, as you would expect, comes from Chenin grown in silex (flint) rich soils. It is impressively concentrated, with honersuckle and citrus, along with more teriary notes of smoke, oyster shell and white flowers. Impressive!