Jean-Pierre moved to Paris at seventeen and fell in love with wine immediately, tasting as frequently and as widely as possible. His bar L’Ange Vin was one of the first natural wine bars in the city, serving wines that led plenty of customers to consider him and his peers to be ‘mentally deranged’. Having launched not only a wine bar but also a formative journal on wine, Jean-Pierre left Paris in the early 2000s to return to Chahaignes, the village where he grew up in the north of the Loire. The vines are planted across two appellations, Jasnières and the Coteaux-du-Loir, on a mix of red clay, limestone and flint. The focus is on Chenin Blanc and Pineau d’Aunis, tended to with compost teas consisting of local flora such as nettles and ferns. Parcels are harvested by hand and fermentations take place in the labyrinth of ancient cellars around the winery. These limestone cellars were dug in the 15th, 16th and 17th century and are naturally cool, residing at 12 degrees even in summer and regulating the slow fermentation which Jean-Pierre aims for. He is a master of élevage and by the time each wine is bottled, it has attained an energy, poise and vitality that is hard to find elsewhere.
Les Années Folles is made from a direct press of Pineau d’Aunis, which begins fermentation in steel tanks before being bottled and spending nine months on the lees. Disgorged by hand, these delicate bubbles carry plenty of red fruit with an addictive hint of salt.