The Pascal Janvier Jasnieres 2013 is 100% Chenin Blanc (known locally as Pineau de la Loire) sourced from Pascal Janvier estate vineyards in the Jasnières AOC located in the northern section of the Loire Valley in France. Chenin Blanc is the only grape grown in Jasnières AOC. It had been a premier growing area for 100s of years, but had fallen out of favor until Pascal Janvier start working to bring the tiny region back. This bottling uses 35 to 40 year vines and is fermented and aged (on lees) in stainless steel tanks. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
The color is almost clear, just a hint of yellow. The nose is honey, apple, pear and flowers. This Chenin Blanc is dry, not too tart and citrus, more fleshy fruit. It starts with pear, apple and honeydew melon and a hint of minerality. The acidity is well-balanced and the finish is full and long.
For many wine drinkers Chenin Blanc is the forgotten grape. It is extremely versatile, it can be light and tart to full-bodied with oak influence and makes a very tasty Sparkling wine. One problem may be that it is called by different names in France, depending on where it is grown and it seems no two producers make it exactly the same way. The same can be said of Chardonnay, but it has found an enthusiastic audience, while Chenin Blanc stays in the shadows. The Pascal Janvier Jasnieres 2013 is a well made, estate grown and produced, delicious wine with a definite sense of place, that won’t break the bank. This is a fairly small production wine, but if you can find it (its imported by Kermit Lynch), it is wonderful wine to try.