Joel Gigou continues to be the iconic producer of Jasnières. This miniscule appellation is 25 miles north of Tours in the Coteaux du Loir (itself an appellation barely larger, where Gigou also has holdings). The whites are a product of that magical Loire symbiosis between Chenin Blanc and tufa. Arguably, the expression here is the most singular and extreme in all the Loire region. Gigou is a conscious archaist. One look at the ancient photograph on his labels of peasants tilling the vineyards will confirm that. But the wines will hold their own against all that modern wine-wizardry can throw forth. They have that thrilling fusion of fruit and mineral which only the greatest Rieslings, white burgundies and Savennières can offer, surmounted by an ethereal floral perfume that brings tears to the eye.
Son Ludovic has been groomed to take over the estate, and he has proved to be as attuned as his father to the qualities that are Jasnières’ hallmark. When tasted amongst other wines of the appellation, they were as palpably dominant as any producer we have ever encountered in a comparative tasting. Unsurprisingly, they are a big hit with David Schildknecht. We have now bitten the bullet and brought in our first reds and sparkling wine. The wines have been organic for years, but starting with the 2018 vintage will be certified as such. The yeasts are native.