Might I say... BOO YA. Chill it, or don't. This wine is made with absolute maximal farming and minimal intervention in the winery. The winery.... it's an actual cave... check the pics!
Purchased fruit from Jérôme Balmet in Vaux-en-Beaujolais.
HARVEST : *Hand picked
Bottled in the winter.
In 2015, after 6 years in Argentina working with natural winemakers on a project called _Cuatro Manos, _Vince has settled back in the Loire Valley, in Chouzé-Sur-Loire. He’s purchasing fruit from winemakers of his persuasion. Namely those who aren’t using any additives in their vineyards or cellars. His main focus is on Chenin and Cab Franc from the Loire valley, but he’s working now with some Grolleau and Gamay (from the Beaujolais) as well.
Vince's cellar is in Berrie. If you know the tiny village, it's probably from his very rock n roll neighbor, François Saint-Lô. If not, we're just a small drive away from Puy Notre Dame in Saumur. In any case, Vincent is a negociant in the truest sense. He's got an incredible space cut into the side of a limestone hill where his projects and experiments have homes in little caves and meandering corridors. It was incredible to walk through.
It is an ancient looking place that almost certainly has been the home to fermentation for hundreds of years. Above the courtyard, Vincent's has a bohemian home full of modern art. It was pretty remarkable but sort of all made sense as we were given the kind of dizzying tour in quick step. Vince also has the booming voice of what I imagine a Legionnaire in the 19th century to have sounded like. As he walked us through each different room, he bellowed over his shoulder about a new cider project here, a stalled fermentation over there, a delicious barrel of chenin in one corner, a tricky new clay vessel in another.
In terms of fruit, Vince seems to take what he can get: what he has space for, some excellent fruit he heard about from a friend, a good price in Chinon, whatever fits into this incredibly complex puzzle that is seemingly rooted in this ancient and impressive home cellar. Vincent even continues working with colleagues from a former project, 4Manos, in Argentina. A negociant is an opportunist in the best possible sense. They manifest serendipity and can foster incredible wine. Finding a cheap stockinger barrel on the french Craigslist just in time for his most precious parcel of Chenin to find a home made for one of the best barrel samples on the trip.
Vince has a keen sense for his fermentations and a sort of frank way of speaking about them. He knows where any given barrel is at, and exactly how to nudge them into a place that he likes. Much like his esteemed neighbor (and his band of "dog punks"), Vince's wines feel hand-made. Visiting a winemaker like this is a reminder that terroir is more than just the microclimate and soil type where the grapes are grown. It's more than native communities of yeasts and bacteria too. There's a harried but exuberant method to all of Vince's madness, and when the team finally got to meet him, something about the wines clicked. Everything suddenly made sense. That mixture of wildness but ancient complexity was sort of right in front of us. The place and the man make the wine, too.