Essential Loire:
2018 Montrieux Picrochole Pineau d'Aunis

Posted by Joe Salamone

I'm in awe of how masterfully Montrieux handles the Pineau d'Aunis grape.

The Picrochole is a bottle that I reach for often. The wine has a really impressive purity and offers up a beautiful combination of honesty with a dose of sophistication and polish.

photo of bottle of Lauer

Montrieux was founded in 1999 by Émile Hérédia in the off-the-beaten-path appellation of Coteaux de Vendômois where the Pineau d'Aunis grape thrives. In this obscure region, Hérédia could easily purchase the area's top parcels and oldest vines. His wines were so singular and mysterious that they quickly gained a strong following.

In 2014, Ariane Lesné, a longtime fan of Montrieux, heard that the estate was up for sale and purchased it. We were supporters of Hérédia's wines, but since Lesné took over the domaine, the wines hit a new level. Lesné had worked in many facets of the wine world - she worked at Domaine de l’Arlot in Burgundy, in fine wine in London, and with a naturally oriented wine merchant in Paris.

The Picrochole Pineau d'Aunis is an incredibly refreshing and gulpable wine. It has the grape's signature pepperiness along with bright red fruits, plenty of floral perfume, and baking spices. I really like the wine's verve and its umami-like savoriness that leads to a building complexity.

Whenever the wine is offered, I take every bottle available. It's that delicious, fascinating, and a benchmark for the grape. It seems that many others feel the same way. Our allocation typically disappears quickly. 

To order, email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits


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Special 4-Pack Price, for a limited time.  Use code: Pineau