Grapes: Pinot noir
Region: Auvergne, France
Notes from the Importer:
The People: Henri moved to Auvergne in 2021 to begin his new dream of making natural wine after a career in banking and insurance. He studied under Jerome Bressy of Gourt de Mautens and Thierry Allemand before starting his own label and completed a BTSA Viticulture-Oenology. His goal is to make non-dogmatic natural wine that expresses the varied terroir of Auverne. By taking over the estate of Annie Sauvat in Boudes Henri has been able to hit the ground running with an already active winery.
The Place: The domaine is 10.5 hectares in Boudes planted with Gamay (60%), Pinot Noir (30%), and Chardonnay (10%). This area once counted hundreds of hectares and these days is down to around forty. The steep slopes contain a wide variety of soils: volcanic lava flows and ash, a rainbow of marls, and limestone outcroppings. The oldest vines on the property were planted in 1987.
Plots:Chamaret – 2.4 ha, bottom of the valley, red clay and quartz. “More Beaujolais than Auvergne” Donazat – bottom of the valley, red clay with limestone outcroppings, decomposed granite Baconnet – 1.7 ha, historic site, the steepest slopes, lava flow
Côte et de la Bavotte – historic site, steep slopes, basalt
Quaire – currently rehabilitating
The Farming: The property is currently undergoing organic conversion. Lulu the horse helps with soil management. Mechanical work is difficult given the gradient of the hillsides. The majority of the vines are guyot poussard pruned. Henri’s first harvest in 2021 was long, starting late Septemberthrough the beginning of November. Harvest in 2022 was much earlier and shorter, the end of August to the end of September.
The Winemaking: All wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts, unfined, and unfiltered. Each plot and each variety vinified separately. All wines are whole bunch and aged in barrel for one year. Sulfur use varies wine to wine, depending on what Henri feels is necessary. In 2021 minimal sulfur was added to several cuvées, in 2022 he used no sulfur. Production in 2021 was around 25,000 bottles.