Based out of Brooklyn, Zev Rovine has been selecting and importing some of NYC’s most sought after natural wines for several years now. At long last, and with much thanks to Oscar Hernandez of Olmstead Wine Co., Zev’s coveted portfolio of vins naturels has finally made it to Boston! In the weeks and months to come we will continue to bring you Zev’s fascinating finds from France, Italy and beyond but tonight we bring you a most radical lineup from one of France’s most inspirational vigneron-artists; Jean-Pierre Robinot.
Robinot’s wines are unparalleled anywhere in France and that says a lot considering he is right in the heart of Loire, the epicenter of natural wine. Since 2001 Robinot has slowly grown his humble estate to a mere 10ha of land planted exclusively with chenin blanc (quite old vines, up to 60 years) and pineau d’aunis (the PBR of wine grapes). Robinot’s winemaking is done in the absence of added sulfur with a slant toward the oxidative, which Zev says “adds to the delicacy and nuance of the wine”; think Jura meets Loire and you’ll know why we love these so much!
Jean-Pierre Robinot, Fêtembulles, Jasnieres, Loire Valley, France
Pet’Nat #1. From 10 year old vines, this is bottle fermented (method ancestral) chenin blanc. Hand disgorged without any dosage or added sulfur. This is bright and electronic with a tangy froth.
Jean-Pierre Robinot, Les Années Folles,
Loire Valley, France
Pet’Nat#2. Essentially a blanc de noir, this is fizzy pineau d’aunis; a wine you never knew you needed but can’t live without! Red fruits abound with a shimmer of telltale white pepper.
Jean-Pierre Robinot, Cuvée Bistrologie, Jasnieres, Loire Valley, France
Pure chenin blanc from an old vine parcel, this is fermented in plastic demijohns and aged in oooold barrels for 12 months before bottling. Nuts, spice and everything nice.
Jean-Pierre Robinot, L’Iris du Loir, Jasnieres, Loire Valley, France
WARNING: This wine is prone to unbridled consumption once opened. It contains wine from a different planet and should be consumed in areas of low gravity. Oh, and it’s chenin blanc aged sous voile (a la Jura) in one single old barrel for 24 months. Super-limited, crazy rare.
Jean-Pierre Robinot, Concerto d’Oniss, Jasnieres, Loire Valley, France
A stunning addition to our growing pineau d’aunis ');" onmouseout="tooltip.hide();">collection! This may be the most vibrant and elemental version we’ve seen yet. Vinification and elevage is the same as the Bistrologie and this is just not to be missed!
More info on Robinot can be found on this slightly out-dated, but still fantastic post over on Wine Terroirs: http://www.wineterroirs.com/2006/07/robinot.html
2010 Jean-Paul Dubost “Domaine Tracot” Beaujolais-Villages, Burgundy, France
Sometimes what something isn’t, is just as important if not more important that what it is. This wine is unsulfured, unyeasted and unchaptalized – in other words – untouched and a pure example of this region and it’s flagship grape. The vineyards for the old Tracot estate ,now farmed by Jean-Paul Dubost and his sons, Joffrey and Corentin, are on the backside of Moulin a Vent and Brouilly. A tasty delight.
2009 Fattoria il Gambero “Alborada”, Oltrepo Pavese, Lombardy, Italy
Since Stephanie is back for the night, how could we not include a sparkling red! Fattoria Il Gambero is a very small estate in the northern tip of Oltrepo Pavese owned by Vittorio Ferrario and his wife. Vittorio is also the winemaker. His estate is also sustainably dry farmed and he uses no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Yields are kept low and the harvest is done by hand. He only does very small batches of his wines and the Alborada production is less than 300 cases. Cheers to a fantastic night, great friends and wonderful wines.