Domaine de Pallus Chinon Le Pensées de Pallus 2016, Loire Valley, France

Out of wine school at the University of Bordeaux, Bertrand Sourdais worked at Mouton Rothschild, Santa Rita in Chile, and for Alvaro Palacios. While achieving stardom in Spain, Bertrand remained passionate for his native Chinon, and for its emblematic variety, Cabernet Franc. And so it was inevitable that he would someday apply his gifts at his family’s estate, Domaine de Pallus, in the appellation’s heart in Cravant-les-Côteaux. Bertrand took up the challenge of creating something great at Pallus. His goal, ultimately, was to honor Chinon’s soil and its ancient traditions. These days, Bertrand is employing an extended maceration – up to an astonishing thirty days – to capture the ‘true’ personality of Chinon. Elévage is similarly long and gentle – primarily in second passage barrels from elite Bordeaux estates. The wines are handled less, and bottled later, than almost any others in Chinon. Les Pensées de Pallus is assembled from parcels on several different soil types, with the aim to define ‘Chinon in a glass. It reveals classic Loire Valley Cabernet Franc aromas and flavors, but with remarkable precision and the kind of textural depth that is rarely seen in Chinon.