JD Pabiot: Perfection in Pouilly-Fumé

Special Feature
Wines of Jonathan-Didier Pabiot


Many appellations around the world are well known and beloved for their distinctive styles of Sauvignon Blanc: Sancerre, New Zealand, and the oft-ignored Saint Bris in Burgundy (why, yes, Burgundy has an appellation that includes Savvy-B!).
 
But there is only one region that is whispered of reverently and can only rarely be found on shelves: Pouilly-Fumé. Made cult by Didier Dagueneau’s benchmark Silex bottling, you can be forgiven for expecting most top-rates PFs to set you back somewhere in the three figures a bottle range.
 
Would you even believe me if I said you could find an illustrious producer, one who is of the only 1% of producers in the region to work organically and biodynamically (the first in the region for both), one who wows the reviewers, and, most importantly, one whose top two bottlings have yet to crack a $70 ceiling at our shop? What if I told you that these stunning wines are in stock now, with the new vintages having only just arrived? 


Jonathan-Didier Pabiot is of course the man in question. He is a fifth-generation winemaker in the Pouilly-sur-Loire, which encompasses Pouilly-Fumé. Young, passionate, and exuberant, he crafts an array of bottlings from his family’s small holdings.

Pabiot began his winemaking career under Léon Barral, “perhaps one of the most famous natural wine producers in all of southern France,” per an importer that does not even work with Barral’s wines. Heavily influenced by Barral, Pabiot converted his family’s domain first to organic and then to biodynamic, being the first in the region for each of the certifications.
 
The domain’s twenty hectares of vines include three soil types: Kimmeridgian, Portlandian, and clay-silex on flint. Vines average 30 years old at the estate and easily show how organic and biodynamic viticulture improves the condition of the vines. Unlike his neighbors, Pabiot’s hardy vines are rarely afflicted by disease or mildew. Fermentations are slow and cool, using indigenous yeast and low amounts of SO2, free of enzymes or additives. Ageing takes place in a variety of containers depending upon the bottling, but all include long lees ageing for added richness and complexity.
 
These wines are head-turners, sure to impress newbies and hard-core Sauvignon Blanc fans alike. The Elisa, showcasing the estate’s Kimmeridgian soils, is the entry-level bottling sourced from younger vines across all three soil types. Like its siblings, this bottling is aged on the lees to create a wine that, according to Polaner Selections, is an “early bird bottling [that] punches well above its weight class.” The Léon is the step up, including all three soil types but from more mature vines. This is the estate’s flagship and a true look into the nature of those to come.
 
At the top end are Eurythmie and Utopia. The Eurythmie debuted to comparisons with Didier Dagueneau’s quality push some decades earlier. The Utopia bottling is not to be missed by insiders. As one of the top wines from this estate, this 100% Sauvignon Blanc hails from one of Pabiot’s best parcels in Les Marnes. The vineyard soils are Kimmeridgian (calcareous clay and limestone), imparting a dense minerality to this generous, long-aging white. This wine was aged in large, oak barrels (demi-muids) with no added sulfites, giving a spicy richness and a decedent, if unusual, hint of oxidation.

Newly Arrived from Jonathan-Didier Pabiot:

What isn’t exclusive to our shop is at some of the lowest prices in the country!


Jonathan Didier Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Elisa 2022 750ml $29.50 special, 23 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“The entry-level Pouilly-Fumé Elisa, previously knowns as Prélude, is made from young vines spanning the family’s three primary soil types: limestone, silica and flint. Thanks to shrewd yields, an uncompromising approach in the vineyard, and lees aging over the winter months, this early bird bottling punches well above its weight class.”
 
Jonathan Didier Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Leon 2021 750ml $33 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Jonathan Didier Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Leon 2021 1.5L $69 special, 6 magnums in stock now

“The 2021 Léon accounts for most of the domaine’s production (70%). It has a bright, gooseberry and elderflower-like character. Fermented partially in concrete (40%), stainless steel (40%) and barrel (20%), it has a silky charm while remaining light-bodied. This is a really lively number that has charm and brightness. Very easy to like, made with a delicate hand.” -Rebecca Gibbs MW, Vinous
 
Jonathan Didier Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Aubaine 2021 750ml $44.50 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Rebecca Gibbs MW-Vinous 90 points
“The 2021 Aubaine is aromatic with floral and gooseberry characters. Having spent 18 months in concrete tank on lees and tasted every two weeks to check the condition, it has taken on a richness of texture and breadth that coats the palate. It is suave and ready to enjoy, with a pretty elderflower scent lingering on the medium-length, lightly savory finish.”
 
Jonathan Didier Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Luminance 2021 750ml $49 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Rebecca Gibbs MW-Vinous 93 points
“The 2021 Luminance is pure with tangy green gooseberry and elderflower flavors. While light in body, it initially has a silken texture but ties tight on the finish. The naturally low yields create a highly concentrated style with tension and precision. There’s a touch of attractive phenolics on the drawn-out finish.”
 
Jonathan Didier Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Eurythmie 2021 750ml $54.50 special, only 6 bottles remaining & in stock now
VinopolNote:
As one of the top wines from this estate, this 100% Sauvignon Blanc hails from one of Pabiot’s best parcels, Les Marnes, a tiny, two-acre plot. The vineyard soils are Kimmeridgian (calcareous clay and limestone), imparting a dense minerality to this generous, long-aging white. This wine was aged in neutral oak barrels before a short stint in stainless steel.
Importer note “The vines are forced to work harder and struggle on this poor soil. This means that this plot requires more attention, but then again, that is the case with most of the best plots for making great wines. The vines face the south and the southwest… We find notes of citrus, chalk, white flowers, flint, and a long and smooth finish. This wine was aged 12 months in neutral oak, followed by 6 months in stainless steel. This could be paired with oysters, scallops, ceviche, lobster, and goat cheeses.”
 
Jonathan Didier Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Utopia 2021 750ml $66 special, only 12 bottles remaining & in stock now
VinopolNote:
As one of the top wines from this estate, this 100% Sauvignon Blanc hails from one of Pabiot’s best parcels in Les Marnes. The vineyard soils are Kimmeridgian (calcareous clay and limestone), imparting a dense minerality to this generous, long-aging white. This wine was aged in large, oak barrels (demi-muids) with no added sulfites.
Importer note “Thanks to this terroir and the talent of Jonathan Pabiot, we find here a wine of exceptional purity. We find a slightly oxidized and spicy nose in this wine, with notes of candied quince and pears. This could be paired with ceviche, lobster, and hard cow cheeses like Comté or Beaufort.”

All Jonathan-Didier Pabiot Wines In Stock @ VWS Now:

JD PABOIT WINES                                                                        VWS PRICE    AVAILABLE   REVIEWS   LINK

JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Aubaine 2020 $39.00 12 93+WA Link
JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Aubaine 2021 $44.50 24 90VM Link
JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume ‘Elisa’ 2021 $28.00 17 91WA Link
JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume ‘Elisa’ 2022 $29.50 23   Link
JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Eurythmie 2021 $54.50 6   Link
JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume ‘Leon’ 2020 $33.00 12 93JG,92WA Link
JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume ‘Leon’ 2021 $33.00 22   Link
JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume ‘Leon’ 2021 MAG $69.00 6   Link
JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume ‘Luminance’ 2020 $49.00 16 94WA Link
JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume ‘Luminance’ 2021 $49.00 24 93VM Link
JD Pabiot Pouilly-Fume Utopia 2021 $66.00 12   Link