DOMAINE PIGNIER is a Biodynamic estate winery in Montaigu in the Jura region of eastern France. It belongs to the Pignier family. They acquired it in 1794 when the vineyards and underground stone cellars of what was a monastic estate dating back to the 13th century under Carthusian monks was secularised after the 1789 French Revolution, and sold off as a ‘bien national’.
THE PIGNIER FAMILY | In the 1970s Pignier père practised polyculture (animals) and vines. Then he switched entirely to vines, beginning with 1-ha. Today, the estate is run by his children Jean-Etienne (born 1963), Antoine Pignier (born 01/02/65; married to Elisabeth) and Marie-Florence (born1968) who represent the seventh generation of the Pignier family.
VINEYARDS | Savagnin is grown in the Val de Vallière (a reculée or blind valley). 3 hectares (7.4 acres). On blue-coloured Lias marl.
BIODYNAMICS | In 2002 Antoine Pignier attended a training workshop hosted by Pierre Masson in Beaune, with Burgundian wine-growers. Antoine says he was always attracted to the idea of Biodynamics, and the meeting with Masson convinced him that whilst organics was good, Biodynamics was better because it made “me realise the importance of life forces.” The estate grow, dry and prepare the majority of the wild plants needed to make the Biodynamic preparations 500-508. All sprays are diluted in rain water collected by large underground cisterns. Plant-based sprays based on burdock, willow and meadowsweet are also used for mildew. The lactoserum from Comté cheese making is used and combined with teas sprayed on the vines. Prepared Horn Manure 500, 502-507 is preferred to ‘classic’ Horn Manure 500. “After the Horn Silica  is sprayed in spring the vines are more erect, making it easier align the vine shoots between the supporting wires,” says Antoine. A 250-litre copper dynamiser allows Antoine to spray 7 hectares (17.3 acres) at a time. Antoine uses a quad bike to apply the Biodynamic field sprays, and can cover 12 metres (39 feet) in one pass, and the whole vineyard in two long mornings/afternoons.
BIODYNAMIC CERTIFICATION | 2005 First vintage with full Demeter Biodynamic certification.
CRÉMANT DU JURA BLANC NV | Brut €6.00 TTC in early 2004. / NV Demi-Sec €6.00 TTC in early 2004. / 2002 Blanc Millésimé Brut €7.20 TTC in early 2004. / 2010 Blanc Millésimé Brut 18-20,000 bottles. Cream and earth at the RAW wine fair 2012.
CRÉMANT DU JURA ROSÉ | NV Brut Rosé €6.30 TTC in early 2004. | NV Demi-Sec Rosé €6.30 TTC in early 2004.
CÔTES DU JURA BLANC CHARDONNAY, CELLIER DES CHARTREUX | 1999 €7.50 TTC in early 2004.
CÔTES DU JURA BLANC CHARDONNAY, CUVÉE FRANCOIS PIGNIER | 70% Chardonnay, 30% Savagnin. €9 TTC in early 2004.
CÔTES DU JURA BLANC CHARDONNAY, CELLIER DE LACUZON | €6.00 TTC in early 2004.
CÔTES DU JURA BLANC CHARDONNAY, SOUS VOILE | Aged in cask under a veil (voile) or film of yeast and non-ouillé (meaning without being topped up–see ouillage).
CÔTES DU JURA BLANC CHARDONNAY, SAVAGNIN | 1999 €13.50 TTC in early 2004.
CÔTES DU JURA BLANC, GAMAY BLANC | ‘Gamay Blanc’ is a local name for Chardonnay, in this case a Chardonnay plot planted at 10,000 vines per hectare (4,050 vines per acre). Oak aged.
CÔTES DU JURA BLANC, GPS An acronoym of the three grapes it is made from, namely ‘Gamay Blanc’ (which is Chardonnay), Poulsard and Savagnin which are picked and pressed together. No added sulfites.
CÔTES DU JURA BLANC, À LA PERCENETTE From a plot of that name on calcareous marl (marnes calcaires) and schist rich in clays, kaolin and pyrite. Fermented and aged in older barrels, which are kept topped up (ouillé) meaning this is not intended to be an oxidatif style like the Chardonnnay Sous Voile, above 1999 €10 TTC in early 2004. 2010 5,000 bottles. Nice soft sappy cream at the RAW wine fair 2012.
CÔTES DU JURA BLANC, LE SAUVAGEON | Savignin. Aged in egg-shaped concrete vats for 12 months which are topped up (ouillé).
CÔTES DU JURA BLANC, SAVAGNIN | Savignin on blue grey marls (‘les marnes bleues grises’ dating from the Lias). Aged 36 months without tiopping up (non-ouillé) and therefore ‘sous voile’ (see ouillage).
CÔTES DU JURA ROSÉ | Made from Poulsard.
CÔTES DU JURA ROUGE, PINOT NOIR 2002 | Pinot Noir €7 TTC in early 2004. Fermented in tank, and then transferred to a mix of mostly used Burgundy barrels and 600-liter demi-muids. They are then transferred to tank after a period of 6-12 months to clarify naturally, and then in general, are bottled without fining and filtration.
CÔTES DU JURA ROUGE, POULSARD | From clay-limestone soils. 2002 Poulsard €5.80 TTC in early 2004.
CÔTES DU JURA ROUGE, TROUSSEAU LES GAUTHIÈRES | From the Gauthières plot, a mixed of soils, of Trias origin and Keuper marls. 2010 Trousseau 2-3,000 bottles. Pure, sappy, and deep at the RAW wine fair 2012.
À TABLE AVEC LÉANDRE | From 11 varieties of heritage Jura vines.
VIN JAUNE WINES
VIN JAUNE From Savagnin. 1986 34.00 Euros TTC in early 2004. 1996 was 25.00 Euros TTC in early 2004.
VIN DE PAILLE WINES
VIN DE PAILLE 1990 29.00 Euros TTC in early 2004. 1999 20.00 Euros TTC in early 2004.
MACVIN DU JURA (17º) 13.50 Euros TTC per 75 cl in early 2004.
MACVIN DU JURA (50º) 21.00 Euros TTC per 70 cl in early 2004.
MARC DU JURA (50º) 11.50 Euros TTC per 35 cl in early 2004.
FINE DU JURA (50º) 21.00 Euros TTC per 70 cl in early 2004.
Domaine Pignier, GAEC du Cellier des Chartreux, 11 Place Rouget-de-Lisle, F-39570 Montaigu (Jura), France / Tel+33 (0)18.104.22.168.30 (Marie Florence) or (0)22.214.171.124.10 (Antoine) / Website www.domaine-pignier.com
RAW wine fair 2012, London Monday 21st May.