Fiacre Taillet, winegrower in Merfy in 1485, was the first of a long line of family winegrowers in Merfy. Another Fiacre Taillet, born in 1700, was an enlightened winemaker who wrote extensive memoirs about his life and his work, as well as the economic, political and cultural environment of the region in the early 18th century. Following this, first Laurent, then Antoine Taillet continued to write logs, passing the family tradition on from father to son, one generation to the next. Today, Alexandre Chartogne-Taillet maintains written logs of his own, as his parents Philippe and Elisabeth did before him. Since 2006, Alexandre has been dedicated to the family's work, seeking to share with you the wines of the village of Merfy.
Situated on the western slopes of one of Bordeaux's most picturesque towns, Saint Emillion, Château Meylet has been a family run vineyard since 1875 when it was called Clos Le Clou. Just 2ha of vines here produce Saint-Emillion Grand Cru. Bordeaux is not a region you think of when discussing natural wines and indeed Château Meylet is one of the last natural producers in the region with winemaker Michel Favard leading the way. Certified biodynamic by Demeter since 1987 and one of the few, artisinal wine estates on the Right Bank the savoury, elegant and achingly pure red wine from the estate, a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, will restore your faith in the Bordeaux region and is worthy of a place both in your glass and in your cellar.
Cyril Fhal is producing some of the most exciting natural/biodynamic wines in France and his domaine, Clos du Rouge Gorge is to be found on the hippest wine lists from Paris to New York. Cyril found small parcels of north-facing hillside vineyards, on gneiss, near the village of Latour-de-France, and began tending the vines according to biodynamic farming practises and the domain was born. Cyril rejected the AOC regulations of the Roussillon, which require 30% Syrah or Mourvedre, grapes not native to the region, so the wines are labelled Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes but quality isn't an issue here. Vital, mineral-laden white wine made from Macabeu and incredible reds from Carignan and Grenache are your reward.
After finishing his winemaking studies, Clotaire Michel spent time in the Languedoc with Pic St. Loup master Christophe Peyrus of Clos Marie before working for five years with the legendary master of Cornas, Thierry Allemand. Since 2015, he has based himself in Beaujolais where he crafts, finely honed wines from Gamay vines up to 100 years old. Organic/biodynamic farming, wild yeast ferments, no added sulphides, fining or filtration, these are wines of outstanding fruit purity and sense of place... if you can imagine Thierry Allemand making Beaujolais, you are on the right track. Superb Beaujolais produced in a gentle and considered manner.
Born in towns that face each other across the Rhône River, René-Jean Dard and François Ribo met in wine-making school in Beaune, starting their own domaine together in 1984.
After drinking Champagne from the larger houses and 'Grand Marques' quite often, the first taste of a grower Champagne can be described as a revelatory experience such are the wines purity and finesse compared to the famous, large volume brands that hog the limelight. It is a tiny domain run by an elderly couple, some 9 hectares in total, all prized grand cru vineyards in Avize and as production is so tiny the wines are as rare as hens teeth. The wines themselves are magnificent, aged seven years sur lies, fermented in large old wooden casks, everything here is done as natural as possible and the resulting Champagnes, Brut & Extra Brut are stunning examples of what can be achieved through great farming and gentle hand in the cellar in this world famous wine region.
Paul Old and Hugo Stewart working with 20 hectares of old vines within the Corbières & Rousillon regions of the Languedoc in the south of France. The name Le Clos Perdus refers to 'the lost vineyards' secretly tucked away throughout the scrubby hills of the region, left in disrepair and brought back to life by the estate through hard work, organic/biodynamic farming and an eye for the sites potential. Today Paul is joined by Ben Adams and the wines are made in the seaside town of Peyriac de Mer. Macabeu, Grenache Gris, Muscat, Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault wines that are pure, delicious and produced with minimal intervention.
Domaine Sainte Croix is located in the village of Fraissé des Corbières, on the border between the Languedoc and the Roussillon. Jon and Liz Bowen, after travelling the world for many years learning their craft now farm 13ha on a variety of terroirs from limestone through to sand, gravelly clays and schist, the array of different soil types is astonishing. They seek out the oldest available parcels of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Terret Gris, Grenache, Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre, farming the plots themselves and achieving organic certification through ECOCERT in 2008. These are gorgeous, artisinal wines of the highest quality, from old vines, including some field blends, that shine a light on the wonderfully diverse terrors of Corbières.