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Prédilection comes from a parcel of vines planted on terres blanches, or Kimmeridgian marl. Sited close to the cellar in Les Loges, this beautiful, steep and terraced vineyard was planted by Didier Pabiot, and the old vines now average 50 years old. With an active lime content of over 70%, these old vines struggle on the very poor soil and beget a saltier, more coiled style than the Aubaine above. Again, yields are meagre, 28 hl/ha in this case. The result is a luminous, mouth-filling yet focused Pouilly of dynamic depth and chiselled character. Vinous' reviewer, Rebecca Gibbs MW, noted that, "the Kimmeridgian soils give a slightly saline texture that makes you want to lick the insides of your mouth." Magic.
Tasting notes: Light and pale color, the nose shows fresh citrus aromas. This wine is clear, mineral with a tangy acidity. The result is a luminous, mouth-filling yet focused Pouilly of dynamic depth and chiselled character.
Story: For this cuvée, they’ve selected a plot of vineyard that was planted by his father, on a terroir of Kimmeridgian marls (shell limestone) and facing south-southwest. On the hillside, this plot benefits from a micro climate influenced by the steep drop in height and the proximity of the Loire. After fermentation the wine stays on the lees in concrete tanks for 18 months, protected from vibrations and temperature variations.
92+ / 100 Parker
From a terraced vineyard with 30- to 60-year-old vines on Kimmeridgian marl (shell limestone) soils and vinified for 18 months in concrete vats, the 2018 Pouilly Fumé Prédilection is coolish, pure, precise and flinty on the ascetic but deep, intense and elegant nose that displays some delicate herbal aromas such as oregano and thyme. Clear and fresh, with good grip and tension as well as clear Sauvignon aromas on the aftertaste, this is an excellent Pouilly to be enjoyed now and over the next 6-10 years. Tasted in February 2021. Stephen Reinhardt
After working a stint with Leon Barral in the Languedoc, 21 year old Jonathan Pabiot returned to his family domaine in Pouilly-Fumé with a passion for organic viticulture and strong ideas for the future. Jonathan's father Didier -- a 4th generation vigneron in Les Loges -- was not easily pursuaded of this new, natural path forward but he nevertheless gave Jonathan 1.5 hectares of vines that were planted by his grandfather. Jonathan found an additional 1.5 hectares to rent (vines he later purchased) and immedeiately converted all three hectares to organic viticulture. From these vines he crafted the much sought-after, high-end cuvées of Prédeliction and Eurythmie.
This fine debut created early whispers that Jonathan was among those who would push the limits of quality in Pouilly-Fumé, much like the late, great Didier Dagueneau had done several decades earlier. It took only 6 months for Didier Pabiot to see the results of his son's organic approach in the vineyards. He decided to follow Jonathon's lead and began organic conversion of his 17 hectares of vines. The father-son duo joined forces and in 2010, with all 20 combined hectares now in full organic certification.
The Pabiot vineyards are truly remarkable, and are among the most lively soils and vibrant, healthy plantings one will ever see. Jonathan and Didier are one of only three organic growers out of 120 domaines in Pouilly-Fumé. While many of their friends and neighbors are plagued by disease in their vineyards, Pabiot's vines remain healthy and equipped to resist the many threats present in such an inhospitable growing climate. Today, they are transitioning to biodynamics and feel the regular influence of these BD preparations are further strengthening the vines the the overall health of their dynamic terroirs. The entry-level Pouilly-Fumé is a blend of all three terroirs found at the estate: Kimmeridgian marl, chalky Portlandian, and clay-silex on flint. The vines average 30 years of age, and are planted very densely at 10,000 vines per hectare! Outside of Burgundy and a few select locations, this density is quite rare in the wine world. Jonathan works the soils to encourage deep rooting. He passes with his tractor three to five times annually and then allows grass to grow between rows at the end of summer as harvest approaches. He debuds in the springtime—a technique of removing certain buds to increase quality and concentration in the remaining ones—though he does not green harvest. Upon harvesting by hand, the vines yield an average of 30 hectoliters per hectare. The grapes are carefully hand-sorted, followed by a slow fermentation with indigenous years at low temperatures for about 10 days. Minimal SO2 is used, and the wine remains on its lees for 5 months in stainless steel vats before racking. This resulting wines are remarkably vibrant, fine and long.
Jonathan Pabiot is a quiet force and his expressive, transparent Pouily-Fumés are turning heads in France and beyond.
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