Roland Pignard Cru Regnié 2014
Winegrowers: Roland and Joëlle Pignard
Region: Regnié (Beaujolais, Burgundy)
Shipping: This wine will ship in June 2018
As many of you know we endlessly pursue extraordinary wines that represent great value. This inevitably leads us to Cru Beaujolais and the small artisanal growers who produce fabulous wines that we can offer you at great prices. And if you’re like me and are beholden to an ever-deepening Beaujolais addiction, then rest assured, today’s Cru Regnié 2014 from Rolland and Joëlle Pignard is one of the most outrageously delicious bottles you will enjoy from this region. With the help of an Indian summer, which blessed the vineyards with an abundance of sunshine, this wine is a classic, traditional Cru Beaujolais that emphasizes energetic fruit and mineral characteristics in spades, and with a depth and structure that works together harmoniously. It’s concentrated but not heavy, refreshing, elegant and mouth-wateringly delicious with great structure, finesse, length and beautiful balance. This is a full, fleshy wine that is just bursting into its prime and we cannot recommend it more highly.
Roland and Joëlle Pignard grow some of the most complex and Burgundian expressions of the Gamay grape rendered today. They farm their 4.5 hectares of steep, hillside vineyards in strict accordance with biodynamic practices. Using only horse and plow, no chemicals, and doing most of the vineyard and cellar work themselves by hand, the resulting wines have an amazing purity of fruit and perfect acidity, a pronounced mineral character and incredible terroir, life and energy. They also have the ability to age well. Five years from now you will be blown away by this wine’s perfume, minerality and graceful evolution, and you’ll marvel at how it outperforms Burgundian Pinot Noirs that easily sell for twice the price. We offer today’s wine for $34; comparable wines from the likes of Marcel Lapierre, Jean Follard and Christian Ducroux easily sell for $40 and more, if you can find them.
Beaujolais is located just south of Lyon. Regnié, the most recent of the Beaujolais crus, received its official classification in December 1988 and lies between Morgon and Brouilly. Beaujolais is arguably the birthplace of the natural wine movement. Conceptually, natural wines are about minimal inputs which is something we at Cellar Direct are all about, and it’s what a winegrower like the late Jules Chauvet set out to do in the 1970s after becoming disillusioned with the wines he was growing at the time. Chauvet was a winemaker, a researcher, a chemist, and a viticulture prophet. It was he who, upon the widespread use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the 1950s, first spoke out for “natural wine,” harkening back to the traditional methods of Beaujolais. Roland Pignard, along with Christian Ducroux, Jean-Paul Thévenet, Marcel Lapierre and Jean Foillard, followed in his footsteps.
Roland is the third generation of winemakers in his family. He and his wife Joëlle took over the family estate in 1977 and immediately turned to organic farming practices. In 2004 they sold off six hectares of their estate to focus on their remaining four and a half hectares in Beaujolais-Villages, Morgon and Regnié. Their vineyards have a Lilliputian charm because of their small size and because Gamay is traditionally grown close to the ground as a tiny, bush trained vine. In 2010 they received their biodynamic certification from Demeter and in 2013 they became members of the Renaissance des Appellations. This organization promotes high quality and the accurate expression of each wine’s appellation through biodynamic farming and simple cellar work; members must adhere to the organization’s Quality Charter. The organization was established in 2001 and has close to 200 members in thirteen countries. Notable members include Domaines Zind Humbrecht (Alsace), Leroy/D’Avenay (Burgundy, 50% 0wners of DRC), de l’Ecu (Muscadet), La Coulée de Serrant (Loire), de Quintaine (Thevenet family, Macon), du Joncuas (S. Rhone) to name a few.
2014 was an excellent vintage; the growing season started early and set the stage for a healthy crop. Then the summer turned cool. This slowed development of the vines but preserved the acidity necessary for the wine’s freshness. Things warmed up in the fall but did not become overly hot, and lasted through the harvest, guaranteeing perfect fruit.
Pignard Regnié 2014 comes from 50+ year-old vines giving small yields from a vineyard that sits at a high elevation on alluvial clay soils. Whole bunch maceration lasted six days. The wine was aged in old barriques and bottled, unfined and unfiltered with only 15 mg/liter of added sulphur. In the glass it is a deep cherry violet color and has lovely aromas of ripe strawberry, cherry, black-current, rose, earth and spice. The fruit carries over to the palate, which is mouth watering, round and full flavoured without being heavy. It has an exceptionally long finish, all framed in fine acidity, a pronounced stony minerality and ample round tannins. This is an elegant Regnié, beautifully balanced with a mere 12% alcohol. This wine can develop positively Burgundian gravitas over the next 8 to 10 years but if you want to enjoy it now, which I certainly will, I recommend decanting for 30 minutes and serving it at no more than 16˚ in Burgundy stems. I love this wine with roasted bird (might I suggest an organic, air chilled chicken with a salsa verde) and oven browned potatoes – a simple dish to make, but oh so tasty and a perfect match.
It doesn’t get any better. Enjoy!