France, natural wine, Wine Reviews

Flavour Chess – Jean Pierre Robinot, 2011 Concerto

Chess art

2011 Concerto Jean Pierre Robinot

Masquerading as simply a light red from the Loire, on closer taste this is an entirely new wine, keeping the red wine tannins but swapping the fruit part with white characters: grapefruit pith, pomegranate seeds and campari orange. After an hour, the Pinot d’Aunis grape interrupts like a waiter with an oversized pepper grinder stopping the conversation. After this interruption it settles down again into a light-bodied red wine, and losing the funk, making the whole experience as unsettling to the senses as being lost in some South-East Asian market before the humidity rises and the fruits are unpacked in the cool early dawn.

Robert Parker would call his Anti-Pleasure Police, which is not such a bad thing, but I had myself reaching for my bookshelf. Jean Pierre Robinot could be said to be one of the founders of natural wine (along with Marcel Lapierre) so if you like wines made for modern air-heads this is not for you. However, if you are in to weird Loire grapes and intelligent winemaking this keeps you guessing the next move like a game of wine flavour chess.

Ps Pinot d’Aunis* is related to Chenin Blanc not Pinot Noir as expected

* Read comments below, these grape varieties really keep you on your toes – must be why I love them so.

This is from a great Wine Club mixed case from Robersons


  1. I’ve never tried Pinot d’Aunis, but I want to now! I love your descriptions Juel.

  2. Caspar says

    Gen sp Pineau d’Aunis, I think, like that other Loire weirdo Menu Pineau…

    • Juel Mahoney says

      Thank you for this clarification – on Roberson web and notes as Pinot d’Aunis so I was thinking, is this really related to Pinot family? Do love how these Loire grapes lead you up these crazy paths… Half the fun of it really. X

    • Juel Mahoney says

      Jean-Pierre Robinot is best known as one of the founding fathers of the natural wine movement. In the 1980s he invented the natural wine bar, opening one of the first venues in Paris that only sold wines made without additives and with minimal (if any) sulphur. When, in 2001, he returned to the Loire and became a vigneron, he set about applying those natural principles to the overriding aim of making the finest wines possible from local grape varieties (Chenin Blanc for the whites, Pinot d’Aunis for the red) grown in unheralded appellations. With long periods of ageing both in barrel and in tank, extraordinary attention to detail and a determination to make his wines the best they can be, the results are stunning.

  3. Caspar says

    Five minutes alone with Wine Grapes is enough to make anyone dizzy! XX

    • Juel Mahoney says

      Ah yes, imagine. I need to get Wine Grapes – such a wealth of new knowledge. Thanks for reminding me! x

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