100% Cabernet Franc. Before the age of 30, Chinon-native Bertrand Sourdais had already made an impressive name for himself at Spain’s upstart, Dominio de Atauta. It was his first post at the helm, following stints at Mouton-Rothschild in Bordeaux, Santa Rita in Chile, and with Alvaro Palacios in Priorat. By 2003, Bertrand was determined to return to France and take up the challenge of his beloved Cabernet Franc. His family estate, Domaine de Pallus, is located in Cravant-le-Côteaux, in the heart of the appellation, and is blessed with some of Chinon’s choicest vineyards. With vines averaging over 45 years of age, Pallus held all the potential Bertrand could hope for. Taking what he had learned from Atauta, he began his quest to find the ultimate limit for Pallus and by 2010, conversion to biodynamic practices was underway. In the cellar, Bertrand completely rethought the winemaking process. He employs an extended maceration of up to thirty days, quite long by Loire Cabernet Franc standards, to capture the “true” personality of Chinon. Elévage is similarly long and gentle and primarily takes place in second passage barrels from elite Bordeaux estates. All in all, the wines are handled less and bottled later than almost any others in Chinon. Since the debut 2004 vintage, Les Pensées has grown in stature with each passing vintage. It is assembled from parcels on several different soil types, with the aim to define “Chinon” in a glass. It reveals classic Loire Valley Cabernet Franc aromas and flavors, but with remarkable precision and the kind of textural depth that is rarely seen in Chinon.