Domaine de Pallus

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Country of Origin: France
Location: Chinon, Loire
People: Sourdais Family, Owners | Bertrand Sourdais, Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Biodynamic

Items

Domaine de Pallus 2020 'Messanges' Chinon AOC Login In Stock
Domaine de Pallus 2016 'Pensees de Pallus' Chinon AOC Login AG 90 AG 89 In Stock

A Loire Valley native, Bertrand Sourdais is the fifth generation to produce wine at Domaine de Pallus in Chinon.

However, Bertrand’s stardom did not start in Chinon. While studying enology at the University of Bordeaux, he met Ricardo Perez Palacios of Descendientes de Palacios. Their meeting and friendship led Bertrand to Dominio de Atauta in 1999. He had been drawn to Atauta by its ancient, pre-phylloxera vines of the local Tempranillo clones. The Atauta post was Bertrand’s first as winemaker, having worked as an understudy at Mouton-Rothschild, Santa Rita in Chile, and for Alvaro Palacios in Priorat.

In 2004, France’s most respected critc, Michel Bettane, got together with Spain’s legendary journalist, Jose Peñín, to taste the two countries’ thirty-one best wines blind. Bertrand’s 2002 Dominio de Atauta “Llanos del Almendro” tied 1994 Vega Sicilia for Bettane’s top red wine, edging out 2000 Ch. Latour. He was only 25 at the time.

Praised for his Spanish wine, Bertrand remained passionate about his native Chinon, and for its emblematic variety, Cabernet Franc. It was inevitable that he would someday apply his gifts at his family’s estate Domaine de Pallus in Cravant-les-Côteaux in the heart of Chinon.

In the early 2000s, with his father’s retirement nearing, Bertrand took up the challenge of creating something great at Pallus. At Atauta, he had learned to question orthodoxy, and at Pallus he believed he could chart a new course. His goal was to honor Chinon’s soil and its ancient traditions. To do so he would need to correct both the flaws that persisted in the region’s traditional methods while avoiding the mistakes typically made by modernists.

Betrand began his quest in the autumn of 2003. Vineyard work changed to create harmony and balance. Even today, he tirelessly works to find the potential of each vine. While biodynamic methods are an important tool for many Loire Valley growers, they are merely a starting point for Bertrand to set his vineyards on the right path. Winemaking techniques were rethought too. Extended maceration is employed—up to an astonishing forty days—to capture the “true” personality of Chinon. Elévage is similarly long and gentle; it primarily occurs in 2nd passage barrels from elite Bordeaux estates. The wines are handled less and bottled later than almost all others producers in Chinon. The results of his efforts have been a string of utterly profound and critically acclaimed wines.

Vinous 7/2020
"After a decade of making acclaimed wine in Spain’s Ribera del Duero, Bertrand Sourdais came home, in the early 2000s, to the family estate in Chinon. Like many in the Loire, Sourdais committed to a biodynamic approach. Unlike many in the Loire, he also employs extended maceration and long aging in older barrels. The result is that Domaine de Pallus vintages are released much later than others in Chinon. I have also always found Domaine de Pallus wine to offer great value, even at the lower end."


Reviews

  • Dom. de Pallus 2016 'Pensees de Pallus' Chinon AOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 90 (7/16/2020)

    Lovely big herbal aromas with notes of sage and oregano, plus some rose and olive. On the palate, attractively austere, displaying lively acidity, flavors of cranberry and black tea and graphite notes throughout. Very refreshing finish. Classic Chinon and good value.
  • Dom. de Pallus 2016 'Pensees de Pallus' Chinon AOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 89 (10/7/2021)

    The Chinon Les Pensées de Pallus is considered the domaine's “entry-level” wine, but it's far more than that. The 2016 is smooth on entry, the light- to medium-bodied frame offers a core of ripe red currant and spiced fruit. The combination of fine, firm tannins and high acidity creates a wine that's precise and taut but could do with more time in bottle to relax. The concentration level suggests this is a medium-term prospect.
  • Dom. de Pallus 2017 'Clos de Pallus'
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (10/15/2021)

    Seamless and suave, the 2017 Chinon Les Clos de Pallus delivers masses of concentration and yet manages to float effortlessly through your mouth like a cloud. It's a very complete wine; fine tannins provide the merest dusting of chalk that will have you licking your cheeks before the naturally fresh acidity makes your mouth water. During 18 months maturing in oak, the wood imparted a very subtle note of cedar, allowing the wine's licorice, red cherry, violet and balsamic notes to shine. This is already gorgeous in its relative infancy but it has the concentration and structure to age for a decade or more.