Guide to the Loire regions

Quincy

Grower Profiles

Domaine André Pigeat
Philippe Pigeat is a very confident and outspoken young man. In an interview in Decanter magazine in 2009, he stated that he is against the principle of co-operatives, believing that their members are not winemakers but ‘agro-managers’ who pay others to grow their grapes and vinify their wines which in turn block the growth of small scale vignerons and the creation of independent wineries. In an appellation where over 40% of the wines are produced by way of a co-operation (rather than co-operative) cellar, I would imagine this went down like a glass of volatile Sauvignon.

The Pigeats are an ancient Berrichone family and have been established in Quincy for at least the past three hundred years. The property predates their arrival though, once belonging to Charles VII (1403-1461), customarily known as the Dauphin, but more often derisively referred to as the King of Bourges given the time he spent living in the city.

It was Philippe’s father, André, and his brother, Christian, who began to diversify from arable farming to viniculture in 1954, although the domaine was split in two in 1970, and whilst Christian (whose domaine is literally next-door) continues to work three hectares of vines, he remains a céréalier. Philippe is quick to point out that any vinous connection between him and his uncle is purely in their shared surname.

Philippe joined his father in 1999 and today they have eight hectares of vines (the cereals have been dispensed with) all of which are in the commune of Quincy. There are nine parcels in total, including vines in Clos de la Bourgogne and Les Coteaux (which is also planted to Pinot Noir).

There are two expressions of Quincy produced; a generic cuvée as well as a separate bottling of the oldest (about 80 year old) vines, which are all hand harvested and sold as Aureliar, which Pigeat explains is ‘an assemblage of parcels and pre-names’. The wines are distinguished by the fact that they are fermented using indigenous yeasts which is very rare within the appellation. The basic Quincy from the 2008 and 2009 vintages (and tasted in June 2010) where both honest and proper, with the latter showing a little of the ripeness and lower acidity associated with the year. The Aureliar is something different: raised in barrel, it displays some honey and white flower aromas on the nose and is very rich and waxy on the palate. It’s certainly atypical and a curiosity for the appellation, being closer to white Bordeaux in style. Pigeat attempts to produce between 2,000 and 2,500 bottles each vintage (there was no 2006), with the first release being in 2001.

In addition to this there is a Vin de Pays du Cher du Jardin de la France produced from the Pinot Noir. This is also raised in oak and not dissimilar in style to Sancerre rouge. The 2008 was light with an element of stalkiness (so often associated with red Sancerre), but with good oak integration even if the acidity is a little too firm for the fruit.

This young grower certainly has a loyal following of clients and despite his slightly arrogant tone, he is clearly ahead of the game, producing classic Quincy as well as pushing the boundaries with his oak aged wines. For this reason, I include him as one of my ‘Top Ten’ growers within the appellation.

Domaine André Pigeat
Philippe Pigeat
18 rue de Cerbois
Quincy
T: + 33 2 48 51 31 90
P: + 33 6 07 13 72 03
F: + 33 2 48 51 03 12
Gaec.pigeat.viticulteur@wanadoo.fr

 

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