Charlène & Laurent on the History of Domaine Pinson, Working as a Daughter-Father Duo, Climate Change, and the 2018 & ’19 Vintages

Charlène & Laurent on the History of Domaine Pinson, Working as a Daughter-Father Duo, Climate Change, and the 2018 & '19 Vintages 4

“2019 has really concentrated all the best qualities of our unique Kimmeridgian terroir into something very special. The vintage delivered great acidity, a density of fruit, and a perfect level of ripeness into an elegant and balanced package.”
– Charlène Pinson

Charlène & Laurent Pinson on the History of Domaine Pinson, Working as a Daughter-Father Duo, Climate Change, and the 2018 & '19 Vintages

Having a family that has farmed in the heart of Chablis since 1640, and now with eleven vintages leading the domaine under her belt, Charlène Pinson is not someone typically prone to hyperbole. But, when discussing her 2019s with her father Laurent she could not hide her enthusiasm:

2019 has really concentrated all the best qualities of our unique Kimmeridgian terroir into something very special. The vintage delivered great acidity, a density of fruit, and a perfect level of ripeness into an elegant and balanced package. The alcohol range for the entire line was near an ideal 13%, with an intensity of fruit and saline minerality that reveals as much vineyard character as I have ever seen for each terroir.

Nobody in the family has ever witnessed this high level of maturity blended with so much bracing acidity in our long history. From Petit Chablis to Les Clos every wine is singing in 2019. The only serious downside of 2019 is that on average we made around 40% less than usual. That is also one of the reasons that all the beauty of the vines was concentrated so amazingly well across the entire lineup.

In a village steeped in history, the Pinsons stand out as one of the oldest families in all of Chablis. The Domaine today is led by the dynamic Charlène Pinson and her father Laurent, who own fourteen hectares of the crème de la crème of Chablis terroir, with prime holdings in six premier crus. The philosophy focuses on obtaining perfect fruit and translating the pure Kimmeridgian-dominated soils into crystalline Chardonnay that reflects the distinct, salty marine life of each site.

In the cellar, they believe that every parcel requires a unique vinification. To express each individual terroir, a few higher of the higher-level Crus are barrel fermented, while most are fermented in tank. Aging also sees a variety of vessels, including older barrels and stainless steel. Charlène follows no dogma, only using experience to determine the best approach for each terroir. It is an intuitive process, one which results in a stunning display of intense purity across their range.

THE FULL INTERVIEW

A TIMESTAMPED BREAKDOWN OF THE INTERVIEW

  • 0:00 – History of Domaine Pinson (the documents date back to 1640!)
  • 8:00 – Charlène on her experience before joining the Domaine in 2008
  • 11:56 – Laurent & Charlène on working together as a father-daughter duo
  • 15:39 – Hinkle on Pinson Terroir, and the ’18 & ’19 Chablis Vintages
  • 17:31 – Laurent on adapting to warmer, dryer growing seasons
  • 19:14 – Petit Chablis 2019
  • 25:16 – A general overview of 2019 vs. 2018
  • 26:44 – Chablis 2019
  • 31:40 – Chablis 1er ’Montee de Tonnerre’ 2019
  • 35:01 – Comparisons to the Chablis 2018
  • 41:53 – Chablis 1er ‘Montmain’ & Chablis 1er ’La Foret’
  • 45:21 – Chablis 1er ’Fourchaume’ 2018
  • 48:48 – Adapting to global warming – changes from 2003 to today
  • 55:59 – Chablis 1er ’Mont de Milieu’ 2018

THE WINES

Wine and Spirit Label 1
PETIT CHABLIS, DOMAINE PINSON
  • From vines directly above Grand Cru Les Clos
  • 35+ year old vines
  • Eastern exposure
  • Very rocky Portlandian limestone terroir
  • Indigenous yeast
  • Fermented and aged in tank

 

Wine and Spirit Label 2
CHABLIS, DOMAINE PINSON
  • 40+ year old vines
  • From 2 parcels in the heart of Chablis
    • Just below 1er Cru Mont de Mlieu
    • Between 1er Cru Vaillons and 1er Cru Montmains
  • Grown on classic Kimmeridgian soil
  • Southeast exposure
  • Indigenous yeast
  • Fermented and aged in tank

 

Wine and Spirit Label 3
CHABLIS 1ER ‘MONTEE DE TONNERRE’, DOMAINE PINSON
  • From the middle section of Montée de Tonnerre
  • Original section considered to be the best part of the cru
  • 40+ year old vines
  • South exposure
  • Tons of Kimmeridgian limestone
  • Indigenous yeast
  • Fermented in 50% tank, 50% 4-8 year old barrels
  • Aged in 50% tank, 50% older barrels

 

Wine and Spirit Label 4
CHABLIS 1ER ‘MONTMAIN’, DOMAINE PINSON
  • 65+ year old vines
  • Southeast exposure
  • Kimmeridgian soil with some blue clay
  • Indigenous yeast
  • Fermented in tank
  • Aged in 3-4 year old barrels

 

Wine and Spirit Label 5
CHABLIS 1ER ‘LA FORET’, DOMAINE PINSON
  • 65+ year old vines
  • Southeast exposure
  • Kimmeridgian soil with tons of limestone
  • Indigenous yeast
  • Fermented in tank
  • Aged in 3-4 year old barrels

 

Wine and Spirit Label 6
CHABLIS 1ER ‘FOURCHAUME’, DOMAINE PINSON
  • 50+ year old vines
  • Southeast exposure
  • Kimmeridgian soil with lots of rocks
  • Indigenous yeast
  • Fermented in tank
  • Aged in 3-4 year old barrels

 

Wine and Spirit Label 7
CHABLIS 1ER ‘MONT DE MILIEU’, DOMAINE PINSON
  • 45+ year old vines
  • Southeast exposur
  • Continuation of and same exposure as the band of Grand Cru
  • A stone’s a throw from Les Clos
  • Kimmeridgian soil with tons of white stones
  • Fermented in 90% tank, 10% new barrels
  • Aged in 1-3 year old barrels

A MAP OF THE PARCELS

Click the map to zoom in!Charlène & Laurent on the History of Domaine Pinson, Working as a Daughter-Father Duo, Climate Change, and the 2018 & '19 Vintages 5RESOURCES

Pinson Parcel Map